Garland

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Entries - Entry Category: Garland

Bear (Garland County)

Bear of Garland County was a boom town of the 1880s whose phenomenal growth was fueled by rumors that gold, silver, and other precious metals could be found in the nearby Ouachita Mountains. One enterprising fraud claimed to have found the legendary Lost Louisiana Mine. However, all such rumors ultimately proved false, and the town diminished as quickly as it had grown. Before the gold rush, people had homesteaded in the area around Bear Mountain—the mountain from which the town later took its name. One early settler was Melson Larkin. The first post office was established in 1882. As early as 1884, rumors of gold in the area began to spread. That year, the first plat of Bear was filed. A …

Blakely (Garland County)

The small community of Blakely originated as a logging camp of the Dierks Lumber and Coal Company. Named for Blakely Mountain and Blakely Creek in the Ouachita Mountains, the camp moved twice before reaching its permanent location just west of Highway 7 near Jessieville (Garland County). Blakely remains as a tangible reminder of the Dierks company’s legacy in Garland County. Dierks Brothers Company was founded in the 1880s by Hans, Herman, Peter, and Henry Dierks, sons of German immigrant Peter Henry Dierks. In 1895, the company became Dierks Lumber and Coal Company, and the company owned and operated numerous lumber yards in Iowa and Nebraska. In 1900, the Dierks brothers made their first purchase in Arkansas, acquiring a mill in …

Buckville (Garland County)

The community of Buckville, located on the upper Ouachita River in Garland County, emerged as a small town amidst the sparsely settled Ouachita Mountains after the Civil War. The town typified rural upland Arkansas with its small farms and reliance on agriculture. Following the construction of Blakely Mountain Dam in the 1950s, the waters of Lake Ouachita covered the site of Buckville. The lake’s completion necessitated a total, permanent evacuation of the town. Extensive archaeological remains exist in the upper Ouachita River valley; many fields bordering on the river contain evidence of Native American presence in the area. Caddo occupied the Ouachita Mountains in relatively small, widely dispersed settlements in the northern part of the region. By 1700, no European or Indian resident …

Cedar Glades (Garland County)

The community of Cedar Glades, located on the upper Ouachita River in Garland County, served as a transportation and commercial center amidst the sparsely settled Ouachita Mountains before the Civil War. The town typified rural upland Arkansas with its small farms and reliance on agriculture. Following the construction of Blakely Mountain Dam in the 1950s, the waters of Lake Ouachita covered Cedar Glades and the surrounding area. The lake’s completion necessitated a total, permanent evacuation of the town, and it ceased to exist. Extensive archaeological remains exist in the upper Ouachita River valley; many fields bordering on the river contain evidence of Native American presence in the area. Caddo occupied the Ouachita Mountains in relatively small, widely dispersed settlements in the northern part …

Crystal Springs (Garland County)

Crystal Springs (Garland County) is an unincorporated community located south of Lake Ouachita in the Ouachita National Forest. The community is about five miles west of Royal (Garland County) and seventeen miles west of Hot Springs (Garland County). The community is less than two miles south of Crystal Springs Campground on the shore of the lake. The Crystal Springs area was part of Montgomery County during its earliest settlement. On February 23, 1917, the easternmost portion of Montgomery County, including Crystal Township where Crystal Springs is located, was transferred to Garland County. Settlement of the area did not begin until after the end of the Civil War. Early settlers in the area include Francis Springer, who obtained 160 acres from …

Fountain Lake (Garland County)

Fountain Lake is a city on State Highway 5 in Garland County. Located about halfway between Benton (Saline County) and Hot Springs (Garland County), Fountain Lake also borders on Hot Springs Village (Garland and Saline counties) to the northwest. Evidence of ancient inhabitants has been found scattered around Garland County, although the relationship of Native Americans to the Hot Springs area has been exaggerated at times to promote tourism. The Caddo inhabited the region when the 1541–1542 Hernando de Soto expedition first traveled through the area, but settlement was sparse. Only a handful of American settlers had claimed land in what would later be northern Garland County by the time of the Civil War. John Holland and Isaac Collins were …

Hot Springs (Garland County)

Hot Springs is situated along the Ouachita River in the Central Ouachita Mountains division of the Ouachita Mountains. It is the largest city in the Ouachita Mountains and has been a resort center since its establishment in the early nineteenth century, but it is also known as a historic locus of illegal gambling, mafia activity, and political corruption. President Bill Clinton, born in Hope (Hempstead County), grew up in Hot Springs, and the city has attracted and produced many noteworthy politicians, artists, and writers throughout the years, including Mary Lewis and Marjorie Florence Lawrence. The daily newspaper the Sentinel-Record, in one incarnation or another, has been circulating in Hot Springs since its inception in 1874. Pre-European Exploration through European Exploration and …

Hot Springs Village (Garland and Saline Counties)

Hot Springs Village, which stretches across the Garland–Saline County line, began as a developmental project and became a gated community. As the population grew, Hot Springs Village began to attract wealthy retired citizens. Its golf courses and trails also make the town a regional tourist destination. As of the 2010 census, the population is 12,807 (Garland County and Saline County populations combined). A frequently repeated claim that Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto traversed what is now Hot Springs Village accounts for the use of de Soto’s name for one of the lakes in the village and one of its main streets, as well as his image in the community logo. French trappers were probably the first Europeans to enter the …

Jessieville (Garland County)

Jessieville (Garland County) is an unincorporated community located in the Ouachita Mountains northwest of Hot Springs Village (Garland and Saline counties) and fourteen miles north of Hot Springs (Garland County). Accessible by Arkansas Highway 7, Jessieville serves as a bedroom community for Hot Springs and offers services to visitors to the Ouachita National Forest. Early families in the area that would become Jessieville first appear in the 1860 census. Part of Marble Township in what was then Saline County, the area was sparsely settled. Farmers James and Mary Newkirk resided in the township east of the present location of Jessieville with their six children. In 1873, the western portion of Marble Township in Saline County became part of the newly …

Lonsdale (Garland County)

Lonsdale of Garland County is located on Highway 88, seventeen miles northeast of Hot Springs (Garland County). Before the Civil War, families (including the Houpts, Warfords, and Rutherfords) began settling in the area that later became the town of Lonsdale. The Egbert Houpt home became a stage stop/relay station on the stage line that developed between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Hot Springs. The town was organized circa 1900 and is named for its founder, John Gerdes Lonsdale Sr. (1872–1943), a nationally known Hot Springs banker. Orphaned at an early age, Lonsdale was raised by his uncle, Hot Springs businessman J. P. Mellard. Lonsdale, starting as a clerk in his uncle’s real estate business, became a bond and stock partner …

Mountain Pine (Garland County)

Mountain Pine was the second-largest community in Garland County, behind Hot Springs, from the 1930s through the late 1970s. During that time, it was a typical company mill town of the forested South. Established in the late 1920s by Dierks Lumber and Coal Company (later Dierks Forests, Inc.), Mountain Pine remains as the most visible reminder of the Dierks company’s legacy in Garland County. Dierks Brothers Company was founded in the 1880s by Hans, Herman, Peter, and Henry Dierks, sons of German immigrant Peter Henry Dierks. In 1895, the company became Dierks Lumber and Coal Company, which owned and operated numerous lumber yards in Iowa and Nebraska. By 1900, the Dierks brothers owned twenty-four lumber yards in the Midwest. In …

White Sulphur Springs (Garland County)

White Sulphur Springs was a resort area in Garland County constructed close to a number of mineral springs near the southern slope of Indian Mountain. The area eventually became part of Hot Springs (Garland County). The earliest residents of the area were Native Americans. Novaculite located on the west end of Indian Mountain was useful to them. Early white settlers of the area arrived in the 1820s and established a small community along Gulpha Creek. The ruggedness of the area made large-scale agriculture impossible, but small-scale farms were successful. The Houpt family constructed a grist mill next to the creek in 1827. Novaculite quarries on the south side of the mountain provided early settlers with a ready supply of the …

Whittington (Garland County)

Whittington is a community in eastern Garland County located about three-quarters of a mile southwest of Fountain Lake (Garland County) and ten miles northeast of Hot Springs (Garland County) along Arkansas Highway 5. Whittington is not to be confused with Whittington Park located in Hot Springs. Whittington is likely named for early settler Hiram Whittington, who moved to what would become Garland County in 1832. He obtained hundreds of acres of land in the 1830s in the area that would become Whittington, as well as other locations in Garland and Saline counties. Upon his death in 1890, Whittington was buried with other members of his family in the Whittington Cemetery located on Mill Creek Road. After the cemetery experienced vandalism …