Entries - Entry Category: Land and Resources - Starting with C

Cache River

The Cache River arises near the Arkansas-Missouri border at the confluence of a few agricultural ditches and flows south-southwesterly through Arkansas until it empties into the White River just east of Clarendon (Monroe County). Though it is not a major transportation corridor, the Cache River has nonetheless had an important place in Arkansas history, especially in debates about environmental conservation. The town of Cash (Craighead County) takes its name from the river. The Cache River was an important water resource for prehistoric Native Americans; for instance, important Indian mound sites connected to the Plum Bayou culture lie within the Cache River floodplain. These early peoples could exploit the variety of natural resources provided by the river and surrounding area, which was …

Cache River National Wildlife Refuge

The 62,000-acre Cache River National Wildlife Refuge is the most important wintering area for ducks and the largest remaining tract of contiguous bottomland hardwood forest in North America. It runs along the floodplain of the Cache River and Bayou DeView for seventy air miles from the mouth of the Cache River at Clarendon (Monroe County) to Grubbs (Jackson County), encompassing Jackson, Monroe, Prairie, and Woodruff counties. In February 2004, the ivory-billed woodpecker, once thought extinct, was rediscovered on the refuge. The refuge was established in 1986 as one of 540 national wildlife refuges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge’s primary objective is to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl and other birds, to protect and restore the …

Caddo River

The Caddo River of west-central Arkansas is known widely as the Natural State’s premier family float stream. This scenic river is named after the Caddo Indians who settled the Ouachita Mountain drainage area. Since that time, many generations have settled, explored, and enjoyed this watercourse. This spring fed Ouachita Mountain stream offers something for everyone. Visitors to the Caddo can experience diverse recreational opportunity in a safe, easily accessible, natural setting. For centuries, this unique waterway has carved its way through sedimentary rock formations, creating a broad shallow river valley and leaving miles of gravel along its path. In some places, the nearly vertical beds of sandstone and novaculite create rapids and water gaps. The Caddo, known for extremely clear …

Camp Halsey

Camp Halsey was a Soil Conservation Service camp established in 1934 a few miles to the east of Greenbrier in the northeastern corner of Faulkner County. It later became a forestry camp before closing in 1939. In the twenty-first century, the site is archaeological site 3FA313. The location is about one mile east of Woolly Hollow State Park. The small community of Centerville (Faulkner County) is located about one mile to the west of the camp location. In response to expansive droughts in the early twentieth century, the U.S. government established “demonstration projects” tied to programs of soil conservation within watersheds. The Cadron Creek Demonstration Project was one of the first of these in Arkansas, although it was not affiliated …

Carpenter’s Produce

Carpenter’s Produce is an agricultural enterprise based in Grady (Lincoln County) that supplies produce for both regional farmers’ markets and national grocery chains such as Walmart and Kroger. The Carpenter family has long been an important symbol of African-American success in the field of agriculture, especially in a time and place when many independent black farmers faced monumental difficulties in remaining solvent. Carpenter’s Produce was established by Abraham Carpenter Sr. and his wife, Katie. In 1969, Katie Carpenter planted a one-acre vegetable garden and began selling her produce locally. At the time, Abraham Carpenter, then almost forty years old, was working at Seagram’s Lumber Mill in nearby Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Using some of his earnings, he purchased thirty additional …

Catfish Industry

aka: Ictalurus punctatus
The catfish industry is the largest component of aquaculture in the United States and a significant industry in Arkansas. Arkansas is the birthplace of the commercial catfish industry, with at least two farms selling catfish in the late 1950s. Arkansas farmers began to replace buffalofish (Ictiobus spp.) with catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in the 1960s. By 1966, Arkansas had 4,500 acres in catfish production and three processing plants. However, increases in the price of fishmeal (an ingredient used in making fish feeds), an economic recession, and the lack of year-round production technology resulted in an industry downturn in the mid-1970s. Multiple-batch production technologies developed in the 1980s allowed for year-round supplies to processing plants. Catfish are raised in ten- to twenty-acre earthen ponds. …

Cattle Drives

Arkansas was the source for many cattle drives westward following the California gold rush, and some later cattle drives cut through Arkansas for points northward. Though a more minor player in the overland transportation of cattle than neighboring Texas, Arkansas was nonetheless significantly affected by these cattle drives. When some Cherokee migrated into Arkansas in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, they drove cattle with them. However, the first major cattle drives organized in Arkansas took place following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, when many Arkansans drove their cattle west in order to meet the increasing need for supplies of the numerous people settling there. As historian J. H. Atkinson notes, “A cow that sold for …

Caves and Caverns

Caves and caverns are natural underground openings large enough for humans to enter. They are primarily formed by volcanic activity or the eroding effects of water and wind. The caves of Arkansas are of the latter variety, the result of the dissolution of limestone and other soluble rock throughout the state’s mountainous regions. Hence, the highest concentration of caves is in the northwest and north-central areas of the state. Arkansas boasts several caves of sufficient size to be of interest to tourists and spelunkers, and all of these can be described as “living caves”—caves in which water remains present, along with its continuing ability to alter cave structure. The caves of Arkansas display vast arrays of stalactites and stalagmites, underground …

Caviar

Arkansas caviar, which is distributed nationally, consists of eggs from certain freshwater fish caught in the state’s rivers. The commercial fishermen who supply the product to wholesalers generally obtain the eggs from the Arkansas, Mississippi, White, Cache, and St. Francis rivers in eastern Arkansas from late November until early April. The eggs come from paddlefish (commonly referred to in the Arkansas Delta as spoonbill catfish), shovelnose sturgeon, and bowfin. Armenian brothers Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian often are credited with popularizing caviar in Paris, France, in the 1920s and spurring a worldwide interest in the product. Paddlefish eggs make up the majority of the Arkansas caviar that is harvested. Paddlefish can be distinguished by their large mouths and elongated snouts, called the rostrum. …

Central Arkansas Water

Central Arkansas Water (CAW) is the largest utility of its kind in the state, providing fresh drinking water to about 450,000 residents of Central Arkansas across Pulaski, Lonoke, Saline, and Grant counties. CAW serves Little Rock (Pulaski County), North Little Rock (Pulaski County), Alexander (Pulaski and Saline counties), Cammack Village (Pulaski County), College Station (Pulaski County), Sherwood (Pulaski County), Wrightsville (Pulaski County), Shannon Hills (Saline County), the Little Rock Air Force Base, Cabot (Lonoke County), Bryant (Saline County), Salem (Saline County), Sardis (Saline County), Woodland Hills (Pulaski County), Jacksonville (Pulaski County), and unincorporated areas of Pulaski County. The 145th Street Water and Sewer Improvement District, the Brushy Island Public Water Authority, the Sardis Water Association Public Water Authority, the Ridgefield Estates Public Facilities …

Cherokee Boundary Line

aka: Old Cherokee Boundary Line
The Old Cherokee Boundary Line served as the eastern border of the first land set aside for Native Americans in Arkansas. The Treaty of the Cherokee Agency of 1817 created the definition for the line as beginning at the confluence of Point Remove Creek and the Arkansas River near present-day Morrilton (Conway County). The line was then to be marked in a northeasterly direction to Shields Ferry on the White River. General William Rector, along with commissioners appointed by the Cherokee, conducted the original survey and filed a report with the Government Land Office in 1819. Rector reported a distance of seventy-one miles and fifty-five chains. Rector’s survey and report were intended to satisfy both some Cherokee residents and some …

Choctaw Boundary Line

Determining the Choctaw Boundary Line and thus the western boundary of Arkansas below the Arkansas River was a process that involved political maneuvering, treaties with the Choctaw tribe, and other negotiations. The line was not even determined for one small strip of land until 1905. The Louisiana Purchase opened up a vast territory for the United States, and a few pioneers began to move into the lands west of the Mississippi River. In 1818, the first treaty was negotiated with the Quapaw tribe for the land west of a line that ran south from the “little rock” on the Arkansas River. The formation of Arkansas Territory in March 1819 brought more settlers. The settlers considered the lands to be in …

Climate Change

The spring of 2019 brought record flooding along the Arkansas River from Van Buren (Crawford County) to its confluence with the Mississippi River in the east. Historic crests occurred at Dardanelle (Yell County), Morrilton (Conway County), Toad Suck Lock and Dam near Conway (Faulkner County), and Pendleton (Desha County) between May 30 and June 6. In July 2019, the National Weather Service reported that the remnants of Hurricane Barry dumped 16.17 inches of rain on Dierks (Howard County), the most rain ever measured in a twenty-four-hour period (1:00 p.m. July 15 through 1:00 p.m. July 16) in Arkansas; the three-day total of 16.59 inches was the most rain associated with a tropical system in recorded state history. Murfreesboro (Pike County) …

Coal Mining

Coal fields in Arkansas are located in the Arkansas River Valley between the western border of the state and Russellville (Pope County) an area only about thirty-three miles wide and sixty miles long. Until about 1880, most coal mined in Arkansas was used near its original location, often to fuel the fires of blacksmiths. Between 1880 and 1920, coal was Arkansas’s first mineral/fuel output, used especially for locomotives and steam-powered machines, as well as for heating homes and businesses. After 1920, oil and oil byproducts pushed aside the popularity of coal as a fuel, and mining of coal decreased. Much of the coal mined in Franklin County and Sebastian County around the year 2000 was used in the manufacture of …

Coleman Dairy

Coleman Dairy in Little Rock (Pulaski County) is the oldest continuously operating dairy by the same family west of the Mississippi River and was listed in 2001 by Family Business Magazine as the seventy-fifth-oldest family business in the United States. Five generations of Colemans have operated the business since its beginning in the early 1860s. Coleman Dairy became a division of Hiland Dairy in 2007. Eleithet B. Coleman founded Coleman Dairy in 1862. Attempting to stay ahead of the Civil War, he brought his family to central Arkansas with a few dairy cows. At the time he started the business, dairymen hauled their raw milk in crocks and poured it into whatever containers were brought out to the delivery wagon …

Compton, Neil Ernest

Neil Ernest Compton of Bentonville (Benton County) was a physician of obstetrics by profession and a conservationist by avocation. He is widely recognized as the founder of the Ozark Society to Save the Buffalo River, which he and his associates initiated on May 24, 1962, at a meeting in Fayetteville (Washington County). Today, it is known as the Ozark Society, Inc. Its original goal was to stop the construction of two proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams on the Buffalo River. Neil Compton was born on August 1, 1912, at Falling Springs Flats in Benton County, the son of David Compton Jr. and Ida Etta Wilmoth Compton. He attended elementary school at Bozarth, a rural school near Gentry (Benton County). …

Cossatot River

The Cossatot River rises in the Ouachita Mountains southeast of Mena (Polk County) and flows southward through Howard County and Sevier County before emptying into the Little River north of Ashdown (Little River County). The upper portion of the river is well known as a whitewater stream and is popular among canoeists and kayakers. The Cossatot River is dammed in Howard County by Gillham Dam. The area around the Cossatot River has been the site of human habitation since approximately 10,000 BC, and there have been Indian mounds located along the course of the river. In the historic period, the Caddo Indians lived in the corner of Arkansas through which the Cossatot flows, though they were coerced into signing away …

Cotton Gins

The cotton gin (from the word “engine”) is a device that separates cotton fibers or lint from the seeds and other impurities (called gin trash) of harvested cotton. The “ginned” cotton is compressed into bales that are then sent to mills that spin it into yarn or thread. The building that houses the ginning and baling equipment is sometimes referred to as a ginnery. Cotton gins are an essential component of the cotton industry in Arkansas. There are two types of gin: roller and saw. The roller or churka gin has been in use for centuries and employs counter-rotating rollers to expel seeds while allowing the fiber to pass through the rollers. Roller gins are used primarily on long-staple (or …

Cotton Industry

Cotton is a shrub known technically as gossypium. Although modest looking and usually no higher than a medium-sized man’s shoulders, its fruit helped to spin off an industrial revolution in 1700s England and foment the Civil War in the 1800s United States. The possibility of riches spun from cotton in the early days helped populate what became the state of Arkansas, with people coming by the hundreds and thousands on a trip that might last two years. Several visitors to Arkansas in the early 1800s made note in their journals and writings of cotton being grown. The crop remained a Southern staple because it needed hot summer days and warm summer nights to bear abundant fruit. It also needed lots …

Crooked Creek (Watershed)

Crooked Creek is a 129 km (80 mi.) Ozark highland White River tributary in Boone, Marion, and Newton counties of northern Arkansas. The stream’s headwaters (36°06′47″N, 93°02′19″W) begin at Sulphur Spring (Newton County) on the north side of Sulphur Mountain just south of Harrison (Boone County) and east of Marble Falls (Newton County), the location of Dogpatch USA, and flow north, passing under Arkansas Highway 206 just west of Elmwood (Boone County). The stream continues north, traveling parallel (eastward) to Arkansas Highway 7, passing through the southeastern part of Harrison and under U.S. Highway 65. The stream immediately turns eastward, beginning a long series of meanders by which it gained its name. Crooked Creek then turns southeast, passing the communities …

Crossett Experimental Forest (CEF)

Established in 1934, the Crossett Experimental Forest (CEF) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service was one of the first experimental forests in the southern United States. It has provided decades of scientific research on topics ranging from forest ecology and silviculture to wildlife, hydrology, and soils in the loblolly and shortleaf pine-dominated forests of the Upper West Gulf Coastal Plain geographic province. The scores of studies conducted on the CEF have generated hundreds of scientific publications, making the station an internationally known example of high-quality long-term forestry research. Long-term research studies and demonstration projects also serve as in-the-woods educational opportunities regarding low-cost forestry practices, and tens of thousands of students, professionals, and others have visited the …

Crossett Lumber Company

The Crossett Lumber Company (CLC) was Arkansas’s largest and most influential lumber company from its founding in 1899 until its merger with the Georgia-Pacific Company in 1962. It is notable for its growth alongside the company town of Crossett (Ashley County) and its early use of sustained-yield forestry in collaboration with Yale University’s School of Forestry. On May 16, 1899, Charles W. Gates, Edward Savage Crossett, and Dr. John W. Watzek—all from Davenport, Iowa—founded the Crossett Lumber Company in Ashley County in southeast Arkansas and Morehouse Parish in northern Louisiana. Stockholders named them president, vice president, and treasurer of the board of directors, respectively. Their first action was the purchase of 47,000 acres of land from the Michigan investment firm …

Crowley’s Ridge

Crowley’s Ridge is a small yet distinctive natural region. It ranges in width from one to twelve miles and extends from southern Missouri across eastern Arkansas to Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). It is made up of a continuous series of rolling hills except for a slight break at Marianna (Lee County); this break or gap was created by the L’Anguille River as it flowed across the ridge. The ridge received its name from Benjamin Crowley, the first white settler to reach the area near present-day Paragould (Greene County), sometime around 1820. Also of note is that the Civil War Skirmish at Chalk Bluff was fought on Crowley’s Ridge on May 1–2, 1863. The Chalk Bluff Natural Area in Clay County …

Crushed Stone Mining

Crushed stone is an angular form of construction aggregate, made by breaking quarried rock into fragments that may be sorted, sized, and recombined into a variety of products. Crushed stone is typically quarried—that is, mined using benching methods (carrying out work from a ledge in a mine or quarry) and explosives, as opposed to the mechanical digging used for extracting sand and gravel. Consolidated rock is cut into vertical ledges, so that drilling can be done from above to place explosives within the wall for proper breakage of rock during mining. Benches typically vary from twenty to sixty feet in height, depending on how competent the rock is. The quarry stone is normally run through a primary crusher and then …

Crystal Hill (Pulaski County)

Crystal Hill is a geological formation on the north side of the Arkansas River near Murray Lock and Dam. It is also the name of a neighborhood in the city of North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Nearby Pyeatte-Mason Cemetery contains the graves of some of the early settlers of Crystal Hill. The formation, about seven miles upstream from downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County)—although many early travelers exaggerated the distance to fifteen miles—is a bluff consisting of sandstone and shale. It also contains significant amounts of iron pyrite, which sparkles in the sunlight. River travelers, seeing the sparkle, gave the hill its poetic name. East Arkansas settlers displaced by the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812 began to settle this part of …

Current River

The Current River crosses into Arkansas from Missouri at the border between Randolph and Clay counties and flows for approximately forty miles before merging with the Black River near Pocahontas (Randolph County). The river was the site of four Civil War skirmishes at Pitman’s Ferry in Randolph County. This is a well-known river for canoeing and was made a part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, a national park located in southern Missouri, in 1964. The Current River arises in the Ozark Mountains from the confluence of Montauk Spring and Pigeon Creek in Dent County, Missouri. Numerous other springs pour into the river as it progresses through Missouri, thus giving it a fairly constant flow of water throughout the year; …