December 9, 2007
The first recorded mining of gypsum in Arkansas was in 1922 in open pits located in Pike County. A long gypsum belt was discovered running through parts of Howard, Sevier, and Pike counties, with the thickest single bed located near a place called Plaster Bluff in Pike County. The pile of gypsum shown in this 1961 photo was mined at Highland Park (Pike County) and then stored at a nearby plant for processing. In that year, Arkansas produced almost 170,000 tons of gypsum.