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Category: Lakeport Legacies

Lakeport Legacies · A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow · Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas)

A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow

presented by

Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas and Williams Baptist College) 

Thursday, June 29

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

William H. Grey (left) and James T. White (right) superimposed on an 1873 roster of Arkansas State Senators. Grey, born free in Washington, D.C., came to Helena in 1865. He served in the 1868 Arkansas State Constitutional Convention and as a representative in the Arkansas House in 1869. James T. White, native of Indiana, represented Phillips County in the Arkansas House in 1868 and the Senate in 1871 and 1873.

During Reconstruction (1867-1874), Republicans, including the first African American office holders, controlled most political positions in Arkansas. Many people assume that African American office holding ended with Democrats’ political “Redemption” in 1874. Despite Redemption, office holding on the local and legislative level remained quite diverse until 1893. Southeast Arkansas continued to elect Republicans, both black and white, along with Democrats at the county level and to the general assembly. This electoral diversity makes Southeast Arkansas unique and worthy of further examination.

 

Rodney holds a B.A. in Political Science from Arkansas State University, and a M.A. in History from the University of Central Arkansas. Rodney spent 10 years as a real estate broker, ran for State Representative in 2004, and was named one of the 25 Outstanding Young Executives in Northeast Arkansas.  Rodney wrote his Dissertation, “Divided Saints: Democratic Factions in the 1874 Arkansas Constitutional Convention” under the direction of Dr. Patrick Williams at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Rodney specializes in Political History and Southern History. He will join the faculty at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas this fall.

 

RSVP to this FREE Event
(by phone, email or online)
870.265.6031 · lakeport.ar@gmail.com

601 Hwy 142 · Lake Village, AR 71653

 



Lakeport Legacies · From Mosaic Templars to Royal Circle of Friends: Identifying Arkansas’s African American Fraternal Headstones

From Mosaic Templars to Royal Circle of Friends: Identifying Arkansas’s African American Fraternal Headstones

presented by

Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation) 

Thursday, May 25

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

Organizations like the Knights and Daughters of Tabor (above), Mosaic Templars, and Supreme Royal Circle of Friends issued standard monuments to deceased members.

Arkansas’s African American cemeteries are dotted with monuments from fraternal organizations founded in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Membership was often social, but also came with desirable sickness and death benefits. Several Arkansas-based fraternal organizations, like the Mosaic Templars, Supreme Royal Circle of Friends, and Knights and Daughters of Tabor, provided standardized monuments as part of their benefits.

In this presentation you will learn about the rise and decline of these organizations and see examples African American fraternal monuments throughout Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta.

 

RSVP to this FREE Event
(by phone, email or online)
870.265.6031 · lakeport.ar@gmail.com

601 Hwy 142 · Lake Village, AR 71653



Lakeport Legacies · Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas

Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas

presented by

Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation) 

Thursday, March 30

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

The architectural similarities between Belmont, Willoughby, and Lakeport are not a coincidence.

 

The first Lakeport Legacies of 2017 will feature Dr. Blake Wintory, director of the Lakeport Plantation on March 30. Dr. Wintory will present, “Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi and Chicot County, Arkansas.”

Although the Mississippi River divides Washington County, Mississippi and Chicot County, Arkansas, their histories are intertwined. Kentuckians like the Johnsons, Wards and Worthingtons, settled in both counties in the 1820s and 1830s. Decades later, the families displayed the optimism and prosperity of Antebellum plantation life with the construction of large plantation houses. The Johnson and Worthington families built stylish Italianate and Greek Revival homes in this era: Mount Holly (ca. 1856), Belmont (1857); Willoughby (1858), and Lakeport (1859). A careful restoration of Lakeport by Arkansas State University and thorough research of neighboring plantations suggests a group of carpenters from Madison, Indiana constructed several homes for the Johnsons and Worthingtons. This research thus reveals that Kentucky planters in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta reached back to the Ohio Valley (Kentucky and Indiana) for materials and builders of their iconic “Southern” homes.

 

Click to RSVP to this FREE Event
(by phone, email or online)
870.265.6031 · lakeport.ar@gmail.com

601 Hwy 142 · Lake Village, AR 71653

Lakeport Legacies (LL) meets in the Dining Room of the Lakeport Plantation house. LL, held on one of the last Thursdays of the month at the Lakeport Plantation, features a history topic from the Delta. For more information, call 870.265.6031.



Press Release Lakeport Plantation releases schedule for 2017 Lakeport Legacies and Information on March 30 Talk

For immediate release 3/13/2017

 

The Lakeport Plantation is pleased to announce its 2017 schedule for Lakeport Legacies, a monthly history talk focusing on history in the Delta. Speakers this year will discuss a wide-range of Delta topics including, a history of one of Arkansas’s oldest African American churches, the Civil War in the Mississippi Delta, and a look at the Polk family’s plantations and investments from Tennessee to the Delta. Lakeport Legacies meets on the last Thursday from March through October at 5:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. Note exceptions in the schedule. All events are free and open to the public. The Lakeport Plantation is located at 601 Hwy 142, Lake Village, Arkansas. For more information call 870.265.6031 or visit http://lakeport.astate.edu.

2017 Lakeport Legacies Schedule

Lakeport Legacies, a monthly history talk, is free and open to the public.
Refreshments and conversation at 5:30 pm · Program at 6:00 pm

March 30 · Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas  · Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

April 28-29 ·  In leiu of Lakeport Legacies · Behind the Big House w/ Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project (Joint Program of Preserve Arkansas & Lakeport Plantation)

May 25 · An Unconventional Conveyance: Rev. Jim Kelly and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church · Reverend Demetria L. Edwards, M.Div., J.D. (New Hope Missionary Baptist Church) and Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

June 29 · A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow · Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas)

July 27 · Ironclads, Cotton and Corn: The Civil War in the Mississippi Delta · Jim Woodrick (Mississippi Department of Archives and History)

August 31 · Grasping Shadows: Evolution of the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum · Emily Jones (Delta State University Archives & Museum)

September 28 · The Polks’ Plantations and the Creation of Cotton Kingdom in the Old South · Dr. Kelly Jones (Austin Peay State University)

October 19 ·  Influence of Southeast Arkansas in the Arkansas Historical Association · Maylon Rice (Arkansas Historical Association) [program on Third Thursday and will start at 5:30 due to DST/Standard Time change]

The first Lakeport Legacies of 2017 will feature Dr. Blake Wintory, director of the Lakeport Plantation on March 30. Dr. Wintory will present, “Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas.”.

 

Although the Mississippi River divides Washington County, Mississippi and Chicot County, Arkansas, their histories are intertwined. Kentuckians like the Johnsons, Wards and Worthingtons, settled in both counties in the 1820s and 1830s. Decades later, the families displayed the optimism and prosperity of Antebellum plantation life with the construction of large plantation house. The Johnson and Worthington families built stylish Italianate and Greek Revival homes in this era: Mount Holly (ca. 1856), Belmont (1857); Willoughby (1858), and Lakeport (1859). A careful restoration of Lakeport by Arkansas State University and thorough research of neighboring plantations suggests a group of carpenters from Madison, Indiana constructed several homes for the Johnsons and Worthingtons. This research thus reveals that Kentucky planters in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta reached back to the Ohio Valley (Kentucky and Indiana) for materials and builders of their iconic “Southern” homes.

 

For more information and to RSVP, contact Blake Wintory 870.265.6031



Lakeport Legacies Schedule for 2017

March 30 · Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas  · Dr. Blake Wintory

April 28-29 ·  In leiu of Lakeport Legacies · Behind the Big House w/ Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project (Joint Program of Preserve Arkansas & Lakeport Plantation)

May 25 · From Mosaic Templars to Royal Circle of Friends: Identifying Arkansas’s African American Fraternal Headstones · Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)
An Unconventional Conveyance: Rev. Jim Kelly and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church · Reverend Demetria L. Edwards, M.Div., J.D. (New Hope Missionary Baptist Church) and Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

June 29 · A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow · Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas)

July 27 · Ironclads, Cotton and Corn: The Civil War in the Mississippi Delta · Jim Woodrick (Mississippi Department of Archives and History)

August 31 · Grasping Shadows: Evolution of the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum · Emily Jones (Delta State University Archives & Museum)

September 28 · The Polks’ Plantations and the Creation of Cotton Kingdom in the Old South · Dr. Kelly Jones (Austin Peay State University)

October 19 ·  Influence of Southeast Arkansas in the Arkansas Historical Association · Maylon Rice (Arkansas Historical Association) [program on Third Thursday and will start at 5:30 due to DST/Standard Time change]

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held at the Lakeport Plantation focusing on history in the Delta. Lakeport Legacies meets on the last Thursday from March through October at 5:30 p.m. Note exceptions in the schedule. All events are free and open to the public. Guests are asked to RSVP. The Lakeport Plantation is located at 601 Hwy 142, Lake Village, Arkansas. For more information call 870.265.6031 or visit http://lakeport.astate.edu.



The Other Lycurgus Johnson: Exploring History at Lakeport

A version of this article originally appeared in Life In the Delta, August 2016

Amanda Worthington, living at the Willoughby Plantation at Wayside, lamented in her diary in 1862 that her invitation to Linnie Adams’ 15th birthday party had arrived a month late “after the thing was over and nearly forgotten.” With Linnie across the river at Lakeport in Chicot County, Arkansas communication between the two friends was cumbersome. The two did exchange timely letters during the Civil War, but after a visit to Lakeport in August 1865, Amanda confessed “I love Linnie so much – I do wish she lived on this side of the river.”

Amanda and Linnie would have marveled at the convenience of the two bridges that have connected Chicot County with Washington County since 1940. However, the counties have been connected for far longer. Many Washington County couples married in Chicot County at Point Chicot and later Columbia, since Washington County’s first county seats, Mexico and Princeton, were many miles down river from the county’s northern section. The practice ended when old Greenville, not too far from the current city, became the seat in 1846. Amanda Worthington and Linnie Adams’ friendship also testifies to the connection. The Worthingtons and Johnsons (Linnie’s mother was a Johnson) were some of the first planters in the region. They arrived from Kentucky in the 1820s and 1830s and ultimately built huge cotton plantations with hundreds of enslaved laborers at Leota, Lake Washington, Grand Lake, Sunnyside, and Lakeport.

Today the 1859 Lakeport Plantation is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site restored to capture and preserve the house and the history of the people who lived and labored there. Built with a view of the Mississippi River for Lycurgus and Lydia Johnson, guided tours of the house and exhibits explore 19th century life, the lives of enslaved laborers, and the preservation of the structure. While Lakeport is the locus of the history, it is not where the story ends. Lakeport explores the Delta through on-going research, publications, and our “Lakeport Legacies” lecture series.

Our 2016 Lakeport Legacies, which began in March, dug deep into the Delta’s history with presentations on the geology of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, the life and family of African American politician James Worthington Mason, the lives of five Italian-American immigrant sisters, the Arkansas Delta’s Mid-Century Modern architecture, as well as the history of the Mississippi Capitol Building.

By the time this is published, Lakeport will have one presentation left in our 2016 Legacies series: “The Other Lycurgus Johnson: U.S. Colored Troops and Civil War Pension Files in the Delta” to be presented August 25 by Lakeport Director, Dr. Blake Wintory.

Pension files sometimes contain photographs of claimants, like this one of John Gordon who joined the 11th Louisiana Infantry in 1863. Gordon was a slave on George Falls plantation on Deer Creek in Washington County, Mississippi. The rare discovery was made by Linda Barnickel while researching her book on Milliken's Bend.

Pension files sometimes contain photographs of claimants, like this one of John Gordon who joined the 11th Louisiana Infantry in 1863. Gordon was a slave on George Falls plantation on Deer Creek in Washington County, MS. Linda Barnickel highlights this find in her book on Milliken’s Bend.

Beginning in 1863, the Union Army heavily recruited slaves into their ranks. Nearly 200,000 African American men served in the Union Army, with over 47,000 coming from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The U.S. Pension Bureau, created in 1862, provided monthly payments for Union soldiers and their affected families disabled during the war. Later the criteria for a pension were expanded and by the mid-1890s, the Bureau accounted for over forty percent of the Federal budget. Today the National Archives holds about 100,000 pension applications for African Americans who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Challenged to prove their identity, African American pension claimants were often hindered by illiteracy and lack of documentation of important life events like marriages, birth, and even age. To fill the gaps, the Pension Bureau initiated “special examinations,” generating volumes of interviews with family, friends, comrades, and former owners. These examinations are a trove of information on 19th century African American life, sometimes providing complete life histories for former enslaved laborers who toiled on Delta’s plantations.

lycurgus-johnson-pension-index

General index card for Lycurgus Johnson, Company D, 47th US Colored Infantry. General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 546 rolls (Accessed on Ancestry.com)

One pension that caught my attention is for a one Lycurgus Johnson. This Lycurgus, who happens to share the name of Lakeport’s owner, enlisted at Lake Providence, Louisiana on May 5, 1863 in the 8th Louisiana Regiment Infantry (African Descent), Company D–later  renamed the 47th U.S. Colored Infantry. Sgt. Johnson died just over a year later on July 20, 1864 in Vicksburg of tuberculosis, then called “consumption.”

Lycurgus’ widow, Mary Johnson, remarried in 1880 and filed for a pension under her new name “Covington” with her two sons Rhoom and James Johnson. According to an interview with Mary in 1900, she and Lycurgus were slaves on Edward P. Johnson’s Avon Plantation on Lake Washington. (Edward Johnson and Lakeport’s Lycurgus were first cousins). She arrived on the plantation as a “mere child,” while Lycurgus arrived from Kentucky around 1849, when he was likely in his early 20s. He and Mary were married by “a slave-preacher [Hilliard Holmes] long before the war on the Avon Place & we lived together without separation till Lycurgus Johnson enlisted,” she recalled. Mary was a house servant and Lycurgus worked around the house; he’d “drive the wagon & did things that did not require heavy work” due to his illness.  

Pension records like that of Lycurgus Johnson can provide important details about African American communities on the plantation. For example, the file also includes interviews with two other slaves on the Avon Plantation, Matt Harris and Downing Williams, and an affidavit signed by the slave preacher, Hilliard Holmes, that married the couple in 1850.

Mary also revealed Lycurgus has always been sick: “it was just the consumption that ailed him. He was just up & down all the time for several years

Page from deposition of Mary (Johnson) Covington, Febuary 6 1900.

Page from deposition of Mary (Johnson) Covington, Febuary 6 1900.

before he enlisted.” Questioned why the army enlisted a sick man she replied, “he wanted to go so bad because all the other colored people were going in the army.” The pension was eventually denied because Lycurgus’ illness was preexisting and his two surviving sons were both over sixteen. By 1900, James Johnson, appears to be the only surviving child of twelve. According to the census that year, he and his wife Eujean and two children were farming near Wayside.

Unfortunately, the pension file for Lycurgus Johnson leaves the basic questions about the origin and meaning of the name “Lycurgus,” unanswered. Pension files have their limitations, often focusing on a specific issue. In this case, Lycurgus Johnson’s  pre-existing illness.  When asked about Lycurgus’ parents’ health, she stated “I never knew Lycurgus Johnson’s father & mother or brothers or sisters & never heard what caused their deaths.” But perhaps she did know more about who they were. She must have been aware that her husband’s father was white, because in 1864, when the couple had their marriage legalized by a military chaplain in Vicksburg that Lycurgus was recorded as a “quadroon”  with a “white father.”

“Lycurgus” was a common name in the white Johnson family. Lakeport’s Lycurgus Johnson was born in 1818, the same year as Edward’s brother, Leonidas L[ycurgus?] Johnson. Leonidas’ also had a grandson that was his namesake. It was not uncommon for a house servant like Lycurgus (born around 1827) to be bestowed with an honorary family name.  

The Delta certainly has a rich and intriguing history to be explored. History at the  Lakeport Plantation opens up many topics, whether it is relationships with Washington County planters or a former slave named Lycurgus.

The Delta certainly has a rich and intriguing history to be explored. History at the  Lakeport Plantation opens up many topics, whether it is relationships with Washington County planters or a former slave named Lycurgus. You can learn more at our next Lakeport Legacies, August 25 at 5:30 p.m or by touring Lakeport. Lakeport is open year around with tours scheduled at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment, 870-265-6031.

 

Dr. Blake Wintory has been the on-site director at the 1859 Lakeport Plantation since 2008. He is the recent author of Chicot County (2015) in Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. His wife, Debra, is Greenville’s Chamber Director.They have a five year-old daughter, Janey.



Lakeport Legacies · The Other Lycurgus Johnson: U.S. Colored Troops and Civil War Pension Files in the Delta

The Other Lycurgus Johnson: U.S. Colored Troops and Civil War Pension Files in the Delta

presented by

Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation) 

Thursday, August 25

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

Pension files sometimes contain photographs of claimants, like this one of John Gordon who joined the 11th Louisiana Infantry in 1863. Gordon was a slave on George Falls plantation on Deer Creek in Washington County, Mississippi. The rare discovery was made by Linda Barnickel while researching her book on Milliken's Bend.

Pension files sometimes contain photographs of claimants, like this one of John Gordon who joined the 11th Louisiana Infantry in 1863. Gordon was a slave on George Falls plantation on Deer Creek in Washington County, Mississippi. The rare discovery is highlighted by Linda Barnickel for her book on Milliken’s Bend.

 

 

Lakeport Plantation director, Dr. Blake Wintory, will present “The Other Lycurgus Johnson: U.S. Colored Troops and Civil War Pension Files in the Delta” on August 25, 2016. Wintory, will discuss on-going research at Lakeport to learn more about the life stories of slaves and their lives during the post-war Reconstruction era in Chicot and Washington Counties through pension files held at the National Archives.

During the Civil War, nearly 200,000 African American men served in the Union Army, with over 47,000 coming from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Many of these men and their families filed for pensions from the Federal Government. Those files, often filled with interviews with family, friends, comrades, and former owners, can be a trove of information on 19th century African American life, sometimes providing complete life histories for former enslaved laborers.

Among the pensions examined by Wintory is one for a Lycurgus Johnson. This Lycurgus, a contemporary who happened to share the name of Lakeport’s owner, enlisted at Lake Providence, Louisiana on May 5, 1863 in the 8th Louisiana Regiment Infantry (African Descent), Company D– later renamed the 47th U.S. Colored Infantry. Sgt. Johnson died just over a year later on July 20, 1864 in Vicksburg of tuberculosis, then called “consumption.”

Lycurgus’ widow, Mary, in an interview with a government official in 1900, revealed she and Lycurgus were slaves on Edward P. Johnson’s Avon Plantation on Lake Washington. Edward Johnson and Lakeport’s Lycurgus were first cousins. She arrived on the plantation as a “mere child,” while Lycurgus arrived from Kentucky around 1849, when he was likely in his early 20s. He and Mary were married by “a slave-preacher long before the war on the Avon Place & we lived together without separation till Lycurgus Johnson enlisted,” she recalled. Mary was a house servant and Lycurgus worked around the house; he’d “drive the wagon & did things that did not require heavy work” due to the illness that eventually took his life. The record also provides important details about plantation communities. For example, the file also includes interviews with two other slaves on the Avon Plantation, Matt Harris and Downing Williams, and an affidavit signed by the slave preacher, Hilliard Holmes, that married the couple in 1850.

 

Click to RSVP to this FREE Event
(by phone, email or online)
870.265.6031 · lakeport.ar@gmail.com

601 Hwy 142 · Lake Village, AR 71653

Lakeport Legacies (LL) meets in the Dining Room of the Lakeport Plantation house. LL, held on one of the last Thursdays of the month at the Lakeport Plantation, features a history topic from the Delta. For more information, call 870.265.6031.



Lakeport Legacies · Revising the Mississippi Capitol

Revising the Mississippi Capitol

presented by

Jennifer Baughn & Brenda Davis (Mississippi Department of Archives & History)

Thursday, July 28

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

DSC_0017-corrected copy

Designed by St. Louis architect, Theodore Link, the Mississippi State Capitol was constructed between 1900 and 1903. Currently the Beaux Arts-style building is undergoing a two-year, $7.4 million repair and restoration project.

 

Jennifer Baughn and Brenda Davis will present “Revising the Mississippi Capitol.” The pair will discuss recent findings that are forcing a reassessment of long-held “facts” about some of the building’s most prominent architectural features. Baughn, the chief architectural historian for MDAH, and Davis, curator of the state capitol, worked together on a revised architectural tour guide for the state capitol. It was during research for that piece that they first noticed inconsistencies in previous interpretations of the building’s history.

“Our presentation will answer questions like ‘is the stained glass made by Tiffany’ and ‘why does the eagle face south?'” said Baughn. “And are there really tunnels under the capitol?” added Davis. Baughn and Davis will also address claims that George Mann, the original architect for the Arkansas State Capitol, designed Mississippi’s Capitol dome.

The Mississippi State Capitol is undergoing a two-year, $7.4 million repair and restoration project that will leave the 112-year-old structure in its best shape in decades. Priorities are to address longtime water leaks, replace materials damaged by water and weather, and clean the exterior. The copper eagle atop the main dome has been regilded in gold leaf on site, and seventy-five exterior stained glass windows have been removed, cleaned, and repaired.

 

Please RSVP to this FREE Event
(by phone, email or online)
870.265.6031 · lakeport.ar@gmail.com

601 Hwy 142 · Lake Village, AR 71653

 

Lakeport Legacies (LL) meets in the Dining Room of the Lakeport Plantation house. LL, held on one of the last Thursdays of the month at the Lakeport Plantation, features a history topic from the Delta. For more information, call 870.265.6031.

 



Press Release — Lakeport Legacies — June 23 — Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta

For immediate release 5/14/2016

Lakeport Plantation’s monthly history talk, Lakeport Legacies, will feature Mason Toms. In his talk, “Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta,” Mr. Toms will explore the region’s most interesting Modern architecture. Structures like the old Dermott State Bank (now Simmons) and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt exemplify the optimism and booming economy of the decades after World War II. Today Modernist architecture is gaining the appreciation of both historians and architecture buffs for its clean lines, functional planning, and futuristic detailing.

 

McGehee Bank. It was not uncommon for banks to build grander examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture in smaller, rural towns. The architecture signaled trust and stability through "modern and up-to-date" practices. The Modernist-style McGehee Bank, built in 1960, was designed by Little Rock architect Edward Brueggeman

McGehee Bank. It was not uncommon for banks to build grander examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture in smaller, rural towns. The architecture signaled trust and stability through “modern and up-to-date” practices. The Modernist-style McGehee Bank, built in 1960, was designed by Little Rock architect Edward Brueggeman

Mason Toms currently serves as the Main Street Arkansas Exterior Design Consultant and Preservation Specialist. As such, he works with building owners in historic downtowns to preserve their facades and storefronts, while still making them visually appealing to a younger generation of consumers.  Mr. Toms also works closely with the National Register Department to research and survey Mid-Century Modern architecture around the state. Through these surveys, as well as social media efforts, lectures, and tours, Mr. Toms hopes to raise awareness of the unique and innovative Mid-Century architecture that Arkansas possesses. Mason is a graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, a minor in history, and concentration in architectural history.
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, DeWitt. Lutherans in rural south Arkansas constructed several Modernist houses of worship in the 1960s. Photographed here is the framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt. The church was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Scott Farrell. In nearby Gillett is St. Paul's Luthern Church, a 1966 design by architect Raymond Martin. In Crossett, Huddleston-Emerson-Stiller Architects of Shreveport designed the 1968 St. John's Lutheran Church.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, DeWitt. Lutherans in rural south Arkansas constructed several Modernist houses of worship in the 1960s. Photographed here is the framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt. The church was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Scott Farrell. In nearby Gillett is St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, a 1966 design by architect Raymond Martin. In Crossett, Huddleston-Emerson-Stiller Architects of Shreveport designed the 1968 St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Mid-Century Modern3

Dr. H.W. Thomas House, Dermott. Modernist residences in the Delta, like Dr. H.W. Thomas House in Dermott, emerged in the post-World War II ear. Built in 1954 by an unknown architect, the design is heavily influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The design is low and somewhat “hugs” the ground. The heavy use of natural materials in the exterior cladding ties the building to the earth in Wrightian fashion.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Blake Wintory 870.265.6031.

Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta
 
presented by
 
Mason Toms (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program)
 
Thursday, June 23
 
Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

 

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held on one of the last Thursdays at the Lakeport Plantation during the spring and summer. Each month a topic from the Delta region is featured. The event is free and open to the public. The Lakeport Plantation is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site. Constructed ca. 1859, Lakeport is one of Arkansas’s premier historic structures and still retains many of its original finishes and architectural details. Open to the public since 2007, Lakeport researches and interprets the people and cultures that shaped plantation life in the Mississippi River Delta, focusing on the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta. ASU’s Heritage Sites include the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Lakeport Plantation, the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, and the Arkansas State University Museum.

Lakeport Plantation • 601 Highway 142 • Lake Village • AR • 71653 • lakeport.astate.edu • 870-265-6031



Lakeport Legacies · Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta

Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta

presented by

Mason Toms (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program)

Thursday, June 23

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

Framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Dewitt. Designed by Scott Farrell and constructed in 1966.

Framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt. The church was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Scott Farrell.

 

Drawing from examples across the Arkansas Delta, Mason Toms (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program) will discuss the region’s most interesting Modern architecture. Structures like the old Dermott State Bank (now Simmons) and the Jay Lewis House in McGehee (designed by architect Edward Durell Stone), exemplify the optimism and booming economy of the decades after World War II. Modernist architecture is gaining the appreciation of both historians and architecture buffs for its clean lines, functional planning, and futuristic detailing.

Mason Toms currently serves as the Main Street Arkansas Exterior Design Consultant and Preservation Specialist. He works with building owners in historic downtowns to preserve their facades and storefronts, while still making them visually appealing to a younger generation of consumers. Mr. Toms also works closely with the National Register Department to research and survey Mid-Century Modern architecture around the state. Through these surveys, as well as social media efforts, lectures, and tours, Mr. Toms hopes to raise awareness of the unique and innovative Mid-Century architecture that Arkansas possesses. Mason is a graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, a minor in history, and concentration in architectural history.

Please RSVP to this FREE Event
(thru online, phone or email)
870.265.6031
lakeport.ar@gmail.com

 

Lakeport Legacies (LL) meets in the Dining Room of the Lakeport Plantation house. LL, held on one of the last Thursdays of the month at the Lakeport Plantation, features a history topic from the Delta. For more information, call 870.265.6031.



amber bracelet