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Monthly archives: May, 2011

Lakeport Technical Reports

Technical Report #1:  Parge Coating 
Technical Report #2:  Chimneys 
Technical Report #3:  Foundation & Footers
Technical Report #4:  Windows
Technical Report #5:  Shingled Roof
Technical Report #6:  Guttering & Sheet Metal Work
Technical Report #7:  Cornice, Siding & Paint
Technical Report #8:  Lakeport Porches
Technical Report #9:  Braced Frame Construction
Technical Report #10:  Smokehouse & Mechanicals

Dendrochronology Report:  David W. Stahle and Matthew D. Therrell, Tree-Ring Dating of the Lakeport Plantation House and Shed, Chicot County, Arkansas, May 2003

Archeological Investigations at Lakeport Plantation: Randall Guending, May 2003

Technical Reports are also planned for the brick walkway, plaster work, shutters, restoration of the exterior doors, mantels, and rose window.



Closed Memorial Day & Open Saturdays this Summer

Lakeport will be closed on Memorial Day–Monday, May 30, 2011.


However, we will be open Saturdays this summer starting in June.


On June 4th — Lakeport is part of the Lake Chicot State Park’s Civil War Event:

8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Civil War Writings – Visitor Center

            The letters, reports, and diaries of the Civil War show us the personal story of what these men went through during our country’s tragic split.  Join the Park Interpreter, as we examine these writings and discover what they tell us about the Civil War. Visitors will also have a chance to write using the same tools the soldiers used 150 years ago.

                       

10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The Life of Civil War Soldiers

            Join the Park Interpreter as he conducts a living history programs that represent what life was like for both the Union and Confederate soldiers in Arkansas.  There will be reproduction equipment and uniforms so don’t miss your chance to see history come alive. If you have any questions about life as a Civil War solider this is your chance to ask.

             1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. The Battle of Ditch Bayou 

            Join the Park Interpreter as we take an in-depth look into the battle fought on the other side of the lake. Firsthand reports from soldiers and civilians will show us what really happen here on June 6th 1864.              

2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p. m. The Battle of Arkansas Post

            Join us for a look into the Union assault on Fort Hindman that took place on January 9-11, 1863. Joe Herron, Park Ranger for Arkansas Post National Memorial will be giving us a presentation on what occurred during this battle and the effect it had on the surrounding area.

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Lakeport Plantation and the Civil War

Join us as we travel to the other side of Lake Chicot to visit the historic Lakeport Plantation. Dr. Blake Wintory, Assistant Director of Lakeport Plantation, will provided visitors with a guided tour of Lakeport Plantation. During his tour he will discuss the effect the Civil War had on Lakeport Plantation. Maps from Lake Chicot State Park to Lakeport Plantation will be handed out at the end of “The Battle of Arkansas Post” presentation. 



Ditch Bayou Battlefield in Chicot County part of Arkansas Historic Preservation Program’s New Cell-Phone Tour

The Ditch Bayou Battlefield, the last major battle fought in Arkansas, is part of Arkansas Historic Preservation Program’s Cell-Phone Tours of Historic Sites in Arkansas.  The Battle, fought on June 6, 1864, was part of a Federal effort to drive Confederate forces way from the Mississippi River and cease attacks on Union shipping.  The outnumbered Confederate forces lost only 4 men before running low on supplies and withdrawing.  Federal forces lost 132 men.   The audio for all the sites is also available online for streaming or downloading.



AHPP ANNOUNCES CELL-PHONE TOURS OF HISTORIC SITES AROUND ARKANSAS
LITTLE ROCK–The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program now offers free cell-phone tours of historic sites around the state, AHPP Director Frances McSwain announced today.
“These cell-phone tours will allow visitors to get in-depth information on historic properties at the touch of a button,” McSwain said. “We currently have 15 cell-phone tours recorded and will add more in the coming months.”
The cell-phone tours can be accessed by calling (501) 203-3015 or by visiting http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/tours-events-workshops/audio-tours/. Current tours include Boyle Park (Stop 21), First Lutheran Church (Stop 41), Robert E. Lee School (Stop 51), Little Rock City Hall (Stop 61) and the Fourche Bayou Battlefield (Stop 11) in Little Rock; Crestview Park (Stop 31) and the Park Hill Fire Station and Water Company (Stop 71) in North Little Rock; Cane Hill Battlefield (Stop 10) in Washington County; Elkins’ Ferry (Stop 12) and Prairie D’Ane (Stop 13) Battlefields in Nevada County; Poison Spring Battlefield (Stop 14) in Ouachita County; Fort Southerland (Stop 18) in Camden; Marks’ Mills Battlefield (Stop 15) in Cleveland County; Jenkins’ Ferry Battlefield (Stop 16)  in Grant County, and Ditch Bayou Battlefield (Stop 17) in Chicot County.
The Ditch Bayou Battlefield markers (A)are approximately 5.5 miles from the Lakeport Plantation (B).

The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources.

The Lakeport Plantation house is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site.   Built for Lycurgus and Lydia Johnson in 1859, the Greek Revival home is one of Arkansas’ premiere historic structures and is now the only remaining antebellum plantation home in Arkansas on the Mississippi River.  The Johnson family retained ownership of the house until 1927, when the Chicot County plantation was purchased by Sam Epstein.  The house was added to the National Register in 1974 and was gifted to Arkansas State University in 2001 by the Sam Epstein Angel Family.  Following a massive restoration effort, the home opened to the public on September 28, 2007.




Read more about the Battle on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas or in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly:

  • Shea, William L. “Battle at Ditch Bayou.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 39 (Autumn 1980): 195–207.


Civil War Event at Lake Chicot Sate Park Ends with Tour of Lakeport — June 4th

Civil War Event, Saturday, June 4th 2011
8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Civil War Writings – Visitor Center
            The letters, reports, and diaries of the Civil War show us the personal story of what these men went through during our country’s tragic split.  Join the Park Interpreter, as we examine these writings and discover what they tell us about the Civil War. Visitors will also have a chance to write using the same tools the soldiers used 150 years ago.
                       
10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The Life of Civil War Soldiers
            Join the Park Interpreter as he conducts a living history programs that represent what life was like for both the Union and Confederate soldiers in Arkansas.  There will be reproduction equipment and uniforms so don’t miss your chance to see history come alive. If you have any questions about life as a Civil War solider this is your chance to ask.
                       
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. The Battle of Ditch Bayou 
            Join the Park Interpreter as we take an in-depth look into the battle fought on the other side of the lake. Firsthand reports from soldiers and civilians will show us what really happen here on June 6th 1864.
                  
2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p. m. The Battle of Arkansas Post
            Join us for a look into the Union assault on Fort Hindman that took place on January 9-11, 1863. Joe Herron, Park Ranger for Arkansas Post National Memorial will be giving us a presentation on what occurred during this battle and the effect it had on the surrounding area.

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Lakeport Plantation and the Civil War
Join us as we travel to the other side of Lake Chicot to visit the historic Lakeport Plantation. Dr. Blake Wintory, Assistant Director of Lakeport Plantation, will provided visitors with a guided tour of Lakeport Plantation. During his tour he will discuss the effect the Civil War had on Lakeport Plantation. Maps from Lake Chicot State Park to Lakeport Plantation will be handed out at the end of “The Battle of Arkansas Post” presentation. 


May is Preservation Month — Lakeport Technical Reports Made Available

The National Trust for Historic Preservation declares each May National Preservation Month.  This year’s theme is “Celebrating America’s Treasures.”  City and county officials throughout Arkansas have recognized the month and made their own preservation declarations.

Yesterday, the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas announced “The Most Endangered Places in Arkansas” aka “Seven to Save.”  There is a video of the announcement on Facebook or you can read about the seven on Rex Nelson’s Southern Fried Blog .  The announcement has no power to save these sites, but it does raise awareness of historic places and generates public, technical, and financial support.

Lakeport was never on the Preservation Alliance’s most endangered list–although, the H. L. Mitchell/Clay East Building, now ASU’s Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, was on the list in 2000.  Lakeport was in need of expert restoration work.  Much of the technical work for the restoration was documented and complied into technical reports.  Sonya Walker (formally of the Lakeport project) has authored eight technical reports on parge coating; chimneys; foundation and footers; windows; shingled roof; guttering and sheet metal work; cornice, siding, and paint; and smokehouse and mechanicals.  Reports on dendrochronology and historic archeology have also been authored.

For Preservation Month these reports are being posted online.  Today, there are links for the first three reports and I’ll continue posting more each day.

Lakeport Plantation Technical Reports:

Technical Report #1:  Parge Coating 
Technical Report #2:  Chimneys 
Technical Report #3:  Foundation & Footers
Technical Report #4:  Windows
Technical Report #5:  Shingled Roof
Technical Report #6:  Guttering & Sheet Metal Work
Technical Report #7:  Cornice, Siding & Paint
Technical Report #8:  Lakeport Porches
Technical Report #9:  Braced Frame Construction
Technical Report #10:  Smokehouse & Mechanicals

Dendrochronology Report:  David W. Stahle and Matthew D. Therrell, Tree-Ring Dating of the Lakeport Plantation House and Shed, Chicot County, Arkansas, May 2003

Archeological Investigations at Lakeport Plantation: Randall Guending, May 2003

Technical Reports are also planned for the brick walkway, plaster work, shutters, restoration of the exterior doors, mantels, and rose window.



Vote for Lakeport Plantation!!

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is conducting an online poll for the state’s favorite museums, parks and other attractions.  You can vote for 10 sites each day until June 8th.

So, please vote for the Lakeport Plantation and 9 of your other favorite Arkansas places.  Lakeport is listed under “Attractions.”
There are also several other Southeast Arkansas locations:
  • John H. Johnson House (Arkansas City, Desha County)
  • Rohwer Internment Camp Historic Marker (Desha County)
  • Guachoya Cultural Art Center (Lake Village, Chicot County)
  • Lake Chicot State Park (Chicot County)
  • Jerome Historic Marker (Drew/Chicot counties)
  • Arkansas Post National Memorial (Desha County)
  • Arkansas Post Museum State Park (Desha County)
And Arkansas State University’s other Heritage Sites:
  • Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
  • Southern Tenant Farmers Museum
  • Arkansas State University Museum


Mississippi River is Risin’ 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011 — Photo Courtesy Rusty Johnson of Lake Village, Ark.



Updated 5/19/2011 @ 12:20 am 5/16/2011 @ 10:50 am 5/14/2011 @ 11:25 am; 5/10/2011 @ 12:30 pm and @ 8:20 pm

Lakeport is on dry land, but over the levee, just 800 feet away, the flood waters are nearing their crest.  They are expected to reach their peak on Sunday, May 15th.  Revised to May 17. 16 and back to May 17 again to 64.5′.   The river has crested, see MS Levee Board News below:

MS Levee Board News 5-20-2011

The MS River has crested at Arkansas City and Greenville and is cresting at Vicksburg!
UPDATE – May 18, 2011
CURRENT GAGE READINGS
Arkansas City   52.7’
Greenville          64.0’
Vicksburg         57.1’
MS RIVER FORECAST
Arkansas City    Crested May 16th at 53.1’
Greenville          Crested May 16th at 64.2’
Vicksburg          Cresting at 57.1’
This highwater exceeded the 1973 highwater levels by 6’.
This highwater put us 3.2’ above the 100-year flood on the MS River.
The 100-year flood on the MS River is 61’ at Greenville and 54’ at Vicksburg.
MS Levee Board News 5-15-2011
The MS River is cresting at Arkansas City!

UPDATE – May 16, 2011
CURRENT GAGE READINGS
Arkansas City    53.1’
Greenville          64.2’
Vicksburg          56.5’

MS RIVER FORECAST
They lowered the Greenville crest by 6” to 64.5’ on May 17th:
Arkansas City    53.1’ cresting
Greenville          64.5’ crest on May 17th
Vicksburg          57.5’ crest on May 19th
This forecast will exceed the 1973 highwater levels by 6’.
This forecast will put us 3.5’ above the 100-year flood on the MS River.
The 100-year flood on the MS River is 61’ at Greenville and 54’ at Vicksburg.

The Corps of Engineers, at a meeting at the Chicot County Courthouse in Lake Village on 5/9/11 and 5/10/11 (the ones I attended), assured citizens that the levees are holding up and they are designed to withstand this historic flood.  These informational meetings will be held every day at the Chicot County Courthouse at 4 pm until further notice.

A few other points the Corps made:

  • Levee system is in good shape.
  • Fields are dry; a few inches of rain will not be a problem.
  • The rise has slowed this week; has crested, but will be a slow draw down.
  • We will have highwater into June. Our northern neighbors are holding a lot of water in their reservoirs that they will eventually have to release.
    • the slow drop in floodwaters prevents the levees from sloughing 
  • There is some seepage along levees, but this is normal and not a concern.
  • An older levee near Eudora was topped last week by the floodwaters; this levee is not part of the mainline levees.
  • No water is or can be pumped into Lake Chicot.  The pumping station at Lake Chicot is NOT designed to pump water into the lake–just out of it.
  • Levees perpendicular to each other (directly across the river) have the same elevation.
  • Sand boils are being monitored; they know where they are historically and none are considered a threat at this time.
    • boils that are moving clear water are not a threat. boils that are moving material/dirt/sand are.
      • it takes a lot of movement of material to consider them a threat.
  • Watch for wildlife that have been displaced from their habitat by the flood.
  • Gov. Beebe has activated the National Guard to help watch the levees in Desha and Chicot counties.
    • approximately 30  70 Guardsmen will be in the counties.
    • Good internet resources:
    • Media reports in Chicot County
      • KATV — Floodwaters Rising in southeast Arkansas, Mississippi (5/15/2011)
      • KATV — River cresting Sunday [not sure if that day is accurate] in Desha, Chicot Counties (5/15/2011)
      • Huffington Post (in Greenville, MS) — At Epicenter of Past River Flood, A Town On Edge (5/14/2011)
      • KATV –Chicot County Almost Out of The Water, Levee Holding  (5/13/2011)
      • Delta Farm Press — Anxiety rises with river levels on Mississippi (5/9/2011)
      • Southwest Times Record (Fort Smith) — Members Of 188th Assist With Flood Relief (5/14/2011)
      • THV — Arkansas National Guard heads to Chicot County for flood preps (5/13/2011)
    • The levees are fine.
    And while you are here:  Please vote for the Lakeport Plantation and 9 of your other favorite Arkansas places in the Department of Parks & Tourism’s Favorite Places in Arkansas Poll.  Lakeport is listed under “Attractions.”
    http://www.arkansas.com/175

    If you compare the photos from May 4, 10 and 16, you can see the water has continued to inch up along the levee. (Tip pause the slideshow and look for comparable photos).

    In the Spring of 2008 the Mississippi River also rose and neared the top of the levee.  The 2011 flood waters are expected to be 7.1 feet hight than 2008 (see Press Release below).

    April 5, 2008 — Lakeport can be seen to the Right.

    Levee reinforcements at Lakeport, April 1927 — House in background — Photo is Courtesy Library of Congress.

    Press Release from Chicot County Judge Mack Ball
    May 4, 2011

    Chicot County Judge Mack Ball reports that a flood warning for the Mississippi River remains in effect for Chicot County. The flood stage is 48.0 feet, with moderate flooding occurring and major flooding predicted. At 4:00 P.M. Monday, the river stage was 53.2 feet. The river will continue to rise to near 64.5 feet by Sunday, May 15th, exceeding the flood of 2008 by 7.1 feet.
    The County Judge met with the Eudora Mayor William Stanton and Lake Village Mayor JoAnne Bush in his office Monday afternoon to brief the Mayors of rising waters from the Mississippi River. Also in attendance was Mike Morgan, Chicot County Emergency Management, the Tony Booker, Chicot County Sheriff’s office, David Gillison of the Southeast Arkansas Levee Board and Sammy Angel with the Lake Village Fire Department.
    Judge Ball issued a flood disaster request to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management on April 27, 2011 in order to obtain necessary supplies to prevent a breach in the Mississippi River Levee System. Barricades have been placed at all entrances to the levee system and driving on the levee is strictly prohibited and will be enforced. Sandbags are being filled by prisoners at the Delta Regional Detention Center in Dermott to be used at two sand boil sites in Chicot County. Authorities are constantly monitoring these two particular sites, but citizens are encourage to contact the Judge’s Office with any information concerning other suspected boils.
    The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has personnel in place to monitor the levee system and all known historical sand boils in Chicot County. Also, the Southeast Arkansas Levee Board is constantly monitoring for sand boils and river seepage caused by the high water.
    As of May 2, 2011, no vehicles will be permitted to travel on the levee. The Chicot County Sheriff’s Department, Arkansas Game and Fish, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and the National Guard will be authorized to issue tickets accordingly. This “zero tolerance” policy is in place to protect both the citizens and property in Chicot County. It is each resident’s responsibility to follow the laws and instructions from the Southeast Arkansas Levee Board, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, National Guard, U.S. Corp of Engineers, Chicot County Sheriff’s Office and the Chicot County Judge’s office.
    All major decisions by the Corp of Engineers or any other state or federal agency will be reported to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and the Chicot County Judge. The County Judge will notify the Mayors of each city in Chicot County. The steps will then be in place to inform you as citizens.
    If a breach of the levee does occur, officials have developed a system of getting the word to you as a citizen by utilizing fire departments, law enforcement and the Arkansas National Guard. The authorities are simply asking for you to use all precautions and report any unusual developments.
    In the event conditions warrant an evacuation all available personnel will notify the citizens of Chicot County. It is at this point that, EVACUATION WILL BE MANDANTORY and your cooperation will be necessary in order to protect both life and property in Chicot County.
    At this time only precautionary measures have been issued from each of these entities. Please know that all authorities are working together for your protection. All state and national agencies are on alert for any additional changes in the present conditions of the Mississippi River.


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