Entry Type: Place - Starting with R

Raggio (Lee County)

The town of Raggio existed briefly on the east bank of Alligator Bayou, about a mile from the St. Francis River, in Lee County. A logging community that was served by the railroad, the town was destroyed by fire around 1916 and was never rebuilt. Until after the Civil War, the site that would become Raggio was largely unclaimed wetland with abundant trees. Hunting and fishing occupied the few visitors to the area, and steamboats traveled the river. Following the war, a logging settlement was established at Raggio; the community was named for a local merchant who had come to Arkansas from Italy. Logs were bound together as rafts to be transported by water to sawmills. Shortly after Lee County was created, …

Randolph County

Randolph County’s five rivers, proximity to land transportation routes, and rich agricultural promise drew settlers to the area before the Louisiana Purchase. As dependence on water-based transportation fell, land and railroad routes allowed agriculture and industry to maintain the county’s economic prominence in northeast Arkansas. The county is home to the Rice-Upshaw House, the oldest standing structure in the state, and Davidsonville Historic State Park, devoted to one of Arkansas’s earliest settlements. The county has five incorporated communities: Biggers, Maynard, O’Kean, Pocahontas, and Ravenden Springs. Pre-European Exploration Hundred of archaeological sites exist in Randolph County, some dating back to 11,000 BC or perhaps earlier. As time progressed from the Dalton Period through the Archaic,the number of sites and the duration of …

Randolph County Heritage Museum

Located on the historic court square in Pocahontas (Randolph County), the Randolph County Heritage Museum officially opened in 2006 during the Pocahontas Sesquicentennial Celebration and is owned by Five Rivers Historic Preservation, Inc., a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Randolph County history and culture. The museum includes three room-sized exhibits. The River Room is dedicated to the five rivers of Randolph County and their contributions through transportation, industry, recreation, and support to the local economy. The largest of the five rivers, the Black River, supplied the shelling and pearling industry of the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. Included are a working button machine and a collection of original tools and implements, as well …

Ratcliff (Logan County)

Halfway between Paris (Logan County) and Charleston (Franklin County) on Highway 22, Ratcliff in Logan County has 202 residents as of the 2010 census. The area that is now northwestern Logan County was sparsely populated prior to the Civil War. Alexander Kannady and Jerry Nunnellee filed papers in Clarksville (Johnson County) in 1861 claiming ownership of the land; Nunnellee is said to have operated a plantation in that area for many years prior to this claim. Early in the 1870s, the area became an attraction due to five natural springs of mineral water that were thought to have healing benefits. Stone pavilions sheltered three of the five springs for the comfort of visitors, and a community called National Springs came into existence. …

Ravenden (Lawrence County)

Ravenden, a small Lawrence County town near the Spring River, owes its origin to the completion of the railroad in the 1880s. With the development of the town along the tracks, it soon became an important trade center in the area. The business sector is no longer located on the original site. In 1947, the business sector slowly began to move to the newly completed U.S. Highway 63, where it remains today. Long before white settlers began to develop the land along the Spring River, the Osage used the area as hunting grounds. The first important white settler to the area was William J. Ball, the son of a former British soldier who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars and …

Ravenden Springs (Randolph County)

The town of Ravenden Springs is located in the easternmost extension of the Ozark Mountains in western Randolph County, an area that is among the oldest settled areas of Arkansas. In 1809, John Janes, a Revolutionary War veteran, settled on the large creek that now bears his name just south of present-day Ravenden Springs and established a trading post there. One of the earliest mail routes in Arkansas ran from Dry Springs on the Missouri border to Lanes’s Store (successor to Janes’ Trading Post) to Batesville (Independence County). Two villages grew up around Lanes’s Store—Walnut Hill and Kingsville—both of which disappeared in time. In 1820, Caleb Lindsey started what has been documented as the first school in Arkansas. “School Cave” …

Recreational and Retirement Communities

Land developers have long capitalized on the American dream of owning real estate or a home in the sun by mass-marketing vacation and retirement home sites to a distant clientele. Land was subdivided into relatively small lots within amenity-based subdivisions and sold as future retirement home sites or as an investment. During the 1950s, property in suburban subdivisions became popular. Lots were mass-marketed by a few large land development corporations, principally in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. The companies created a nationwide market for property sold on the installment plan by mail, often sight unseen. This type of land development soon became a national phenomenon; raw or partially developed acreage was “improved,” subdivided into small parcels, and offered for sale …