Entries - Entry Type: Place - Starting with L

Little Italy (Pulaski and Perry Counties)

Little Italy’s prominence in Arkansas history is attributed to its role in European immigration to Arkansas and, more importantly, its wine industry. The area boasted four wineries within a mile of one another and produced thousands of gallons of alcohol yearly. The wine-making Italians of Little Italy provided central Arkansans with a clean, reliable source of alcohol during Prohibition. Due to the community’s central location, it gained much attention as a place where alcohol could be purchased. The area also gained notoriety for the rough atmosphere the clientele who frequented its wineries afforded. Little Italy was founded in 1915 by a group of Italian immigrants who had originally settled in Chicago and Upper Peninsula Michigan at the turn of the …

Little Missouri River

The Little Missouri River in southwest Arkansas rises in the Ouachita Mountains of Polk County and flows southeasterly through Montgomery County and Pike County, where it is impounded by Narrows Dam. It continues southeasterly into the geographical region known as the West Gulf Coastal Plain, where it forms parts of the borders of Pike, Hempstead, Nevada, Clark, and Ouachita counties before emptying into the Ouachita River. The area through which the Little Missouri River flows has been home to human habitation since approximately 10,000 BC. Among the prehistoric sites along the river is the Kirkham site in Clark County. In historic times, the Caddo Indians occupied much of southwestern Arkansas, and European explorers found several Caddo villages along the Little …

Little River (Northeastern Arkansas)

The Little River starts in the St. Francis Mountains west of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and flows southward through the Mississippi and Morehouse Lowland between Crowley’s Ridge to the west and Sikeston Ridge to the east. After crossing the Missouri-Arkansas state line, it enters the Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Manila (Mississippi County). Running a length of 148 miles, the Little River is a tributary of the St. Francis River, joining it at Marked Tree (Poinsett County). Before the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812, the Little River was a swift, free-flowing stream. In the twenty-first century, it is not much more than a series of stagnant mud holes due to the channeling and ditching of the Little River Drainage District. …

Little River County

Carved out of parts of Sevier County and Hempstead County, Little River County was established in 1867 by an act of the Arkansas legislature. The new county gave citizens a shorter and easier journey to their county seat of government. Because of the area’s close proximity to the Little River, which flows into the Red River near Texarkana (Miller County), it took the name of Little River County. This county is located in the southwestern corner of the state and is surrounded by Sevier, Hempstead, Howard, and Miller counties in Arkansas and by counties in Texas and Oklahoma. The two rivers form major parts of the boundary of Little River County. Louisiana Purchase through the Gilded Age Some Caddo settlements …

Little Rock (Pulaski County)

Little Rock, Arkansas’s capital city, is situated on the south bank of the Arkansas River near the geographic center of the state, making it a natural hub for commerce. In addition, the state’s three major landforms join within the city limits: the foothills that rise northwest to the Ozark Plateau, the Delta lands that extend east to the bank of the Mississippi River, and the rolling plains that stretch southwest into Texas. This confluence makes Little Rock a natural political center. Pre-European Exploration The Arkansas River Valley, including the location of “the little rock,” was claimed by the Quapaw when Europeans first explored the region. The Quapaw, members of a group of Dhegiha-Siouan-speaking tribes which also includes the Osage, resided in …

Little Rock Air Force Base

The Little Rock Air Force Base (LRAFB) is located on 6,412 acres of land within the city limits of Jacksonville (Pulaski County). The base is a self-contained community that has contributed greatly to the economy and growth of the area since it became operational in 1955. The LRAFB is the largest C-130 base in the world. In 1951, members of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce learned that the Air Force was considering locating a new base in the central United States but that Congress was not interested in purchasing land for the base because the United States already owned some World War II airfields that could be converted to active bases. Everett Tucker, manager of the Industrial Department …

Little Rock Arsenal

In 1836, the same year Arkansas was admitted into the Union, the federal government requested the building of a military installation in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Under Governor James Sevier Conway and Major Robert B. Lee, a site for the Little Rock Arsenal was selected on the outskirts of the city. The site was on a former racetrack used by a local jockey club. Originally, Congress had allotted $14,000 for the arsenal, but the final cost of the building was $30,000. It incorporated timbers from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and stone from the Big Rock on the north side of the Arkansas River across from Little Rock, as well as locally made bricks. At the arsenal’s completion, the Arkansas Gazette …

Little Rock Aviation Supply Depot

During World War I, an air supply depot was constructed at Little Rock (Pulaski County) south of 12th Street near the Little Rock airport. Construction began in 1918 of the complex of structures encompassing fifty-five acres and designed to house up to 500 officers and men. The main warehouse was planned as an exact duplicate of the warehouse at Dayton, Ohio. The depot acted as a distribution point, with raw materials necessary for the function of an air service being gathered and sent to production facilities, while finished products were stored and the parts distributed to flying fields as needed. At one point, approximately 13,000 motors were stored there. Although the depot mainly supplied equipment to flying fields in the …

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Situated at the intersection of Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive (formerly 14th Street) and Park Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service (NPS) since 1998, stands as one of the most significant landmarks of the civil rights movement. In 1957, during the desegregation of Central High School, nine African-American students—the Little Rock Nine—attended classes under federal protection amid internationally publicized protests, violence, and staunch opposition from Governor Orval Faubus and other segregationists. Originally known as Little Rock High School, the building was completed in 1927, replacing the outgrown all-white high school located at 14th and Cumberland streets. Classes for African-Americans were held at Dunbar High …

Little Rock College

Little Rock College was the second attempt by the Diocese of Little Rock to establish an institution of higher education. Andrew Byrne, Arkansas’s first Roman Catholic prelate, began St. Andrew’s College near Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in 1849, but it closed in 1861 due to the Civil War. John B. Morris, Arkansas’s third Catholic bishop, established Little Rock College using the wealth accumulated by his predecessor, Edward M. Fitzgerald, who died in 1907. Fitzgerald left so much to his successor that, in addition to the college, Morris eventually founded St. Joseph’s Orphanage in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), a diocesan newspaper, and a seminary. Little Rock College opened in September 1908, situated between 25th and 26th streets, and Gaines and State …

Little Rock Fortifications (Civil War)

Both Confederate and Union forces constructed fortifications to protect Arkansas’s capital between 1863 and 1865, with the Confederates concentrating their efforts on the north side of the river while Union works were built primarily south of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Following the Confederate defeat in the July 4, 1863, Battle of Helena, most of the Confederate troops in the state fell back to central Arkansas and braced for a Union offensive toward Little Rock. Major General Sterling Price reported that, in late July, “I commenced the construction of a line of rifle-pits and other defensive works on the north side of the Arkansas [River], and pushed them forward to completion as rapidly as I could.” The works stretched from Big …

Little Rock National Cemetery

Little Rock National Cemetery is the largest national cemetery in Arkansas and the only one closed to new interments. It is unknown when the first interment took place, or who it was, because the cemetery was part of the city cemetery at the time. The last active-duty burial was a man from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 20, 1996. In 1866, the land that is now the cemetery was outside the city limits of Little Rock (Pulaski County) and served as a Union encampment for the troops who continued to occupy the city. In September 1866, the first 9.1 acres were …

Little Rock Zoo

The Little Rock Zoo is Arkansas’s only public zoo. Since its beginning, the zoo has grown and become a major attraction in Little Rock (Pulaski County). The zoo began in 1926, with only an abandoned timber wolf and a brown bear. Soon after, the Arkansas Democrat began a public campaign for the zoo and bought three buffalo with the funds it had raised. The public donated small animals, while others were donated through the help of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The city bought a lion, and several deer were donated. The zoo was then part of the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department. In 1928, the city hired a carnival, and the zoo received the proceeds of its …

Little Texas (Scott County)

Little Texas is an unincorporated community located in eastern Scott County. The community was established in 1870 south of the Fourche La Fave River along Weaver Creek. Weaver Creek was named for the Weaver family who settled in Little Texas. Agriculture has traditionally contributed to the economy and way of life in Little Texas. Prior to European exploration, the area surrounding Little Texas was a wilderness. Several species of wildlife that no longer inhabit the area, such as elk and buffalo, were present throughout the region. Numerous archaeological sites and burial mounds can be found along the banks of prominent water ways such as the Fourche La Fave River. Archaeological findings have provided evidence of early inhabitants dating to the …

Lockesburg (Sevier County)

Lockesburg, located near the center of Sevier County at the crossroads of State Highways 24 and 71, was once a center of local business and farm trade and served as the county seat for approximately thirty-six years. The city lost much of its importance when it was bypassed by the railroad in the late nineteenth century and also when it lost its status as the county seat in the early twentieth century. Still, the county’s oldest incorporated city, surrounded by productive farm land, has supported an average population of 600 citizens throughout its existence. The land upon which Lockesburg was built was first occupied by Native Americans. This fact is evidenced by a number of mounds found in the area …

Locust Grove (Independence County)

Locust Grove is one of the oldest towns in Independence County, having been founded in 1838, two years after Arkansas became a state. Its name derives from a grove of locust trees that pioneers found growing there. Locust Grove is on Heber Springs Road (Highway 25) just before Highway 14 splits off to become Mountain View Road. Locust Grove has traditionally had close ties with the two communities of Almond (Cleburne County) and Desha (Independence County), and with Marcella, Pleasant Grove (a.k.a. Red Stripe), and St. James (a.k.a. Buck Horn, Buckhorn) in Stone County. Locust Grove is ten miles southwest of Batesville, the county seat of Independence County, and two miles south of Lock and Dam No. 2 on the …

Logan County

Logan County, located in the Arkansas River Valley in northwestern Arkansas, is one of ten counties in Arkansas having two county seats: Paris and Booneville. Other incorporated communities in the county are Magazine, Blue Mountain, Caulksville, Ratcliff, Subiaco, Scranton, and Morrison Bluff. Although Logan County was not created until 1871, the area that is now Logan County has had a significant impact on the development of western Arkansas dating from territorial days. Some of the oldest settlements in western Arkansas were located in what is now Logan County. During territorial days and throughout the century, Roseville, a busy port on the Arkansas River, played a vital role in river transportation of goods and passengers. Settled around 1830, Booneville was the …

Logoly State Park

Logoly State Park in southwestern Arkansas was the state’s first environmental education park. At Logoly, interpreters present workshops on ecological and environmental topics, and the park’s natural resources provide a living laboratory for students and nature lovers alike. The area surrounding Logoly State Park has been the scene of human activity since it was inhabited by Native Americans, whose artifacts have been found in the park. Because mature timber stands cover most of the park, the few artifacts found have been along the trails or water-washed areas. No detailed archaeological surveys have been done to locate any possible village sites. During the late 1800s, a collection of springs in an area called Magnesia Springs was used by the early settlers …

London (Pope County)

London has been a part of much history, ranging from the Dwight Mission and the Trail of Tears to the operation of nuclear power plants. The city’s population and business peaked at the height of the railroad industry in Arkansas. In the twenty-first century, London has become a bedroom community for the workers of Russellville (Pope County). The Arkansas River Valley was a corridor of transportation, both by land and by water, even before Arkansas statehood. The U.S. Congress authorized and funded several military roads in Arkansas Territory, including one that traveled along the river valley from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Fort Smith (Sebastian County). The Dwight Mission was established along this route, not far from present-day London, in 1820 by …

Lono (Hot Spring County)

Lono is an unincorporated community located in Hot Spring County at the intersection of Arkansas Highways 9 and 222. It is one mile east of Rolla (Hot Spring County) and about thirteen miles south of Malvern (Hot Spring County). The first settlers in the area arrived in the 1840s and began small-scale farming. Richard Jennett obtained eighty acres of land on July 10, 1848. Later that year, Arthur Yates and John Gray both obtained land. Yates appears in the 1850 census, living on eighty acres with his wife, Polly, and their nine children. In 1859, Yates obtained another eighty acres in the area. Gray also lived on his property with his wife, Minerva, and their nine children, according to the …

Lonoke (Lonoke County)

The town of Lonoke is the only county seat in Arkansas that shares its name with the county it serves. It is located near the geographical center of the state, twenty-two miles east of Little Rock (Pulaski County) on the western edge of the Grand Prairie. Primarily supported by agriculture and aquaculture, Lonoke is a major source of the state’s rice, soybeans, and aquatic exports and serves as home for many businesses and the residents who are employed there. Civil War through Reconstruction In 1858, the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad was building its tracks through Brownsville, then the county seat of Prairie County, located three miles north of the future town of Lonoke. Five years later, during the Civil …

Lonoke County

The county and its seat of government having the same name distinguishes Lonoke County from other counties in the state. Lonoke received its name from a “lone oak” tree that George P. C. Rumbough used for a landmark while surveying for the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad. In 1873, the Arkansas legislature was forming and locating counties, and a petition was introduced to the legislature to form the county of Lonoke. Governor Elisha Baxter signed the act on April 16, 1873, creating Lonoke County from the parent counties Prairie and Pulaski. The existing territorial land is divided into three sections. The northern region consists of gently rolling hills and valleys; the towns of Cabot, Austin, and Ward are in this …

Lonoke County Museum

The Lonoke County Museum is located in Lonoke (Lonoke County) in rural central Arkansas. The mission of the museum is to identify, collect, and preserve artifacts and records of Lonoke County and to educate the public. Local citizens formed a non-profit organization in 1998 to establish this permanent museum. The museum occupies the historic Scott Building, donated by the Bennett family in honor of J. O. (“Pete”) and Gertrude Bennett. The building—previously a residence, a doctor’s office, and a car dealership—is in the Lonoke Historic District. Roof repairs funded by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program revealed Spanish oak timbers, which date the building back to the early 1880s. The museum includes a genealogy center and exhibits depicting major events from …

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 …

Lost 40

The Lost 40 is a forty-acre tract of mature forest along Wolf Branch (a tributary of Moro Creek) in southeastern Calhoun County. Owned by PotlatchDeltic Corporation, the tract is known for its large trees, some more than 200 years old, and has variously been described as “primary,” “virgin,” and “old-growth.” It has been the site of several scientific studies conducted by the faculty and students of the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and is protected by a forty-year cooperative management agreement between PotlatchDeltic and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) signed in 1996. Lost Forty Brewing, a brewery based in Little Rock (Pulaski County), takes its name from the tract. Several natural communities …

Lost Corner (Pope County)

Lost Corner is a small community consisting of a few farms in Pope County northeast of Hector (Pope County) and near the Van Buren County line. It is located on a ridge between the south fork of the Little Red River to the east and the Illinois Bayou to the west. Little information about the early history of the community exists. At one point, the community was apparently called Old Diamond and then Okay. A school named Snowlick, after a nearby mountain, opened around 1897, and a new school building was constructed in the 1930s. However, the school consolidated with Alread (Van Buren County) in the 1940s. During the drought that hit Arkansas in the 1930s, the Red Cross began …

Lost Forty Brewing

Located in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the Lost Forty Brewery was founded in 2014 by John Beachboard, Scott McGehee, Albert Braunfisch, and Russ McDonough. The micro-brewery takes its name from a forty-acre forest in Calhoun County known by locals as the “Lost Forty.” The forest’s virgin hardwood and pine trees are owned by the Potlach Corporation. In 1996, the Potlatch Corporation and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) entered a forty-year cooperative to conserve the forest. Lost Forty Brewery began raising funds for the initiative as well as other ANHC conservation and protection initiatives by forming a new non-profit, the Lost Forty Project Foundation, in partnership with the ANHC. In January 2014, Brewer, Beachboard, McDonough, and McGehee of the Yellow …

Lost Prairie (Miller County)

The historical riverport community of Lost Prairie is located in modern-day Miller County, in an area along two oxbow lakes (First Old River and Second Old River) just off the Red River. The United States Geological Service’s designation for “Lost Prairie, Arkansas” places the community in an agriculture field near Red Chute creek, but historical documents and records describe the former community. Lost Prairie was recognized as the first permanent settlement in the area in 1816, established by Colonel Benjamin Milam on the Red River, where he opened a store and land office. Several years later, U.S. government engineers informed Milam that his land at Lost Prairie was in Arkansas Territory, not Texas, as he had believed. Milam, who served …

Louann (Ouachita County)

Louann is a town on State Highway 7 in southern Ouachita County, a short distance north of the Ouachita River. Although it began to be settled late in the nineteenth century, it was incorporated in the midst of the oil industry boom of the 1920s. With the onset of the Depression, the oil industry lost its momentum in southern Arkansas, and Louann gradually dwindled in size. Quapaw from the north and Caddo from the west sometimes visited the Ouachita River valley. The river became a corridor for French explorers and trappers before the land became part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Gradually, the pine forests were removed, and cotton plantations were established. William Deason, John …

Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park

Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park conserves a rare headwater swamp, located on Little Cypress Creek, and a granite monument standing in the swamp’s interior. The monument marks the “initial point” established during an original survey of lands added to the United States as a result of the Louisiana Purchase. The monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972, and on April 19, 1993, the National Park Service designated the point a National Historic Landmark. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 more than doubled the size of the United States and brought all the territory that would become Arkansas under U.S. ownership. In 1815, President James Madison ordered a survey to establish a system for distributing …

Lovely County

Created and abolished because of treaties, Lovely County in Arkansas Territory existed for only a year. While hostilities played a part in the county’s creation, an 1828 change in the western boundary of Arkansas Territory led to its quick demise. Many Native American tribes inhabited the land that became Lovely County. The Osage hunted the hills and fished in the streams and rivers until 1808, when their claims were given up in the Treaty of Fort Clark. The Cherokee traded their land east of the Mississippi River for land in the west in 1809. President Thomas Jefferson offered the Cherokee the former Osage hunting ground in the area between the Arkansas and White rivers in exchange for their land in …

Lowell (Benton County)

The city of Lowell, located in Benton County, was originally a small settlement known as Robinson’s Cross Roads, settled in the 1840s along what was later called Old Wire Road. The original settlement consisted of about thirty homesteaders. The post office was established in 1847, though it later closed and reopened under the name of Bloomington. The road was well traveled and worn with deep ruts, and it became treacherous after rain. Thus, Bloomington became commonly known as “Mudtown” after a rider for the Butterfield Overland Mail Company reportedly got his stagecoach trapped in deep mud there. In 1864, guerillas attacked a wagon train in Mudtown, but Union forces prevailed.Camp Benjamin, northeast of town at a site known as Cross …

Lower White River Museum State Park

The Lower White River Museum State Park is located in Des Arc (Prairie County), which is in the northeast corner of the central part of the state. The museum tells the story of the White River, specifically the Lower White River, and its dramatic and important role in Arkansas history. As pioneers and early settlers migrated west, the White River served as a primary transportation route, and that river travel expanded the settlement and economic opportunities in the region. The town of Des Arc, where the state park is located and which was the focus of the original museum, owes its very existence to the White River, as do many other old river towns that line its banks. Steamboats also …

Lunenburg (Izard County)

The unincorporated community of Lunenburg, located on Rocky Bayou approximately four miles south of the Izard County seat of Melbourne, is one of the county’s earliest settlements. The earliest land claim record is that of Adam Walker in 1820. While many early settlers were attracted to the area by plentiful water and fertile land, much early growth can be attributed to a local Baptist organization. About 1833, the Rocky Bayou Baptist Association was established in the area, with a log church built shortly afterward. A second church was constructed in 1858. Many of the area churches trace their origins to the association. Other denominations also were soon established. By the mid-1840s, a sizeable settlement and business district, known as Rocky …

Luxora (Mississippi County)

Latitude and Longitude:        35º45’22″N 089º55’41″W Elevation:                                  246 feet Area:                                           0.85 square miles (2020 Census) Population:                               942 (2020 Census) Incorporation Date:                June 3, 1897 Historical Population per the U.S. Census: The city of Luxora is located in Mississippi County at the junction of U.S. Highway 61 and Arkansas State Highway 158, twelve miles south of Blytheville (Mississippi County) and five miles north of Osceola …

Lynn (Lawrence County)

Lynn is a town on State Highway 25 in western Lawrence County. Although the area has long been settled, the population of Lynn has grown little. Osage from the north hunted and fished in northern Arkansas for many years until the Louisiana Purchase added the land to the United States. The Black River runs through the area where Lynn would be established. During territorial times, a military road known as the Southwest Trail connected Missouri to Fulton (Hempstead County), and this route reportedly ran through the area where Lynn is today. As a result, the land was soon claimed by settlers: Dempsey Trotman in 1820 and both John Kylor and John D. Williams in 1824. Lawrence County survived the Civil …

Lynwood Tourist Court Historic District

The Lynwood Tourist Court Historic District is a motel/apartment building and office located in Hot Springs (Garland County). Constructed in 1944, the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 2004. The district is located at 857 Park Avenue and is one of a number of motels and tourist courts that were constructed in the area between the 1920s and 1950s. Travelers took advantage of newly constructed highways to visit the thermal springs and other tourist attractions in Hot Springs, prompting many related businesses to open in the area. The lower-cost options offered by these establishments made them popular with many travelers. The court was constructed as the Lynwood Tourist Court in 1944 and owned …

Lyon College

Lyon College was founded in Batesville (Independence County) in 1872 as Arkansas College. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, it is the state’s oldest independent college still operating under its original charter. When Batesville lost to Fayetteville (Washington County) in the bid for the state university in November 1871, Reverend Isaac J. Long and other ministers in the Arkansas Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in the United States led the effort to establish a denominational college there. Located on the eastern edge of town, Arkansas College opened its doors in September 1872 with Long as president and only one other college-level faculty member. Typical of nineteenth-century denominational institutions, Arkansas College maintained a grammar school (which was phased out in the 1890s) …