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Category: Lakeport Legacies

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.



Press Release — Lakeport Legacies — May 26 — The Adventures of the Bastianelli and Pianalto Sisters

For immediate release 5/18/2016

Lakeport Plantation’s monthly history talk, Lakeport Legacies, will feature Dr. Rebecca Howard on May 26. Dr. Howard teaches at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, sits is on the Tontitown Historical Museum Board, and is a descendant of the first Italians immigrants that came to Chicot County’s Sunnyside Plantation in the 1890s. Her talk titled, “The Adventures of the Bastianelli and Pianalto Sisters: History from the Tontitown Museum” will examine the lives of five sisters who were part of the first wave of Italian immigrants to Sunnyside. Later the sisters immigrated again to Tontitown in northwest Arkansas with Father Pietro Bandini. Many in the generation who immigrated as children followed Old World marriage habits, delaying marriage until they were financially established. Few walked down the aisle before their late twenties or thirties. So what did a young woman in the 1910s in rural Arkansas do with an extra decade or so as a single woman? Between the five Bastianelli and Pianalto sisters, they lived in at least four states, taught school, became nurses, and aided priests. One sister was a long-time schoolteacher in Lake Village. Another was among the first graduates of St. Edward Nursing School in Fort Smith. Two exercised their voting rights for the first time in California. An examination of their lives reveals fascinating information about an often “silent” generation.

 
The Sunnyside Plantation, situated just north of Lakeport, was the largest cotton plantation in antebellum Arkansas. Austin Corbin, a New York financier, acquired the plantation around 1886. Corbin experimented with convict labor and began modernizing the plantation with a short line railroad, telephone, and a steamboat anchored in Lake Chicot. In 1894 he subdivided the plantation into 250 twelve-and-half-acre plots with houses. In November and December 1895, 138 Italian families arrived with Sunnyside contracts in hand. The contracts offered the immigrants a house and land for $2,000, payable over 21 years at 5 percent interest. By 1910 there were 739 Italian born individuals living in Chicot County. However, contract disputes, disease, and other issues at Sunnyside forced some immigrants to leave. Father Pietro Bandini, assigned as chaplain to the new immigrants in early 1896, led a sizable group of Italians in 1898 to the Tontitown settlement in northwest Arkansas. The story of the Italians at Tontitown is told and preserved at the Tontitown Historical Museum. Founded in August 1986, the museum is housed in the home of two of its original settlers, Mary and Zelinda Bastianelli.
Mary Bastianelli (l) and Katie Pianalto (r).

Photograph of Mary Bastianelli (l) and Katherine Pianalto Ceola (r) taken around 1917, possibly at the Washington County (AR) Fair. Mary is wearing an engagement ring; her sweetheart, Jack Zulpo, was killed in France in 1918. Courtesy of Tontitown Historical Museum

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

The Adventures of the Bastianelli and Pianalto Sisters: History from the Tontitown Museum
 
presented by
 
Dr. Rebecca Howard (University of Arkansas & Tontitown Historical Museum)
 
Thursday, May 26
 
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 · The Adventures of the Bastianelli and Pianalto Sisters: History from the Tontitown Museum

The Adventures of the Bastianelli and Pianalto Sisters: History from the Tontitown Museum

presented by

Dr. Rebecca Howard (University of Arkansas & Tontitown Museum)

Thursday, May 26

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

Mary Bastianelli (l) and Katie Pianalto (r).

Photograph of Mary Bastianelli (l) and Katherine Pianalto Ceola (r) taken around 1917, possibly at the Washington County (AR) Fair. Mary is wearing an engagement ring; her sweetheart, Jack Zulpo, was killed in France in 1918. Courtesy of Tontitown Historical Museum

The Bastianelli & Pianalto sisters were part of the first wave of Italian immigrants that came to the Sunnyside Plantation in Chicot County in the 1890s. Later they immigrated again to Tontitown in northwest Arkansas with Father Pietro Bandini. Many in the generation who immigrated as children followed Old World marriage habits, meaning young couples delayed marriage until they were financially established. Few walked down the aisle before their late twenties or thirties. So what did a young woman in the 1910s in rural Arkansas do with an extra decade or so as a single woman? Between the five Bastianelli and Pianalto sisters, they lived in at least four states, taught school, became nurses, and aided priests. One sister was a long-time schoolteacher in Lake Village. Another was among the first graduates of St. Edward Nursing School in Fort Smith. Two exercised their voting rights for the first time in California. An examination of their lives reveals fascinating information about an often “silent” generation.

 

Please click to RSVP to this FREE Event
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.



Lakeport Legacies · The Life and Wives of James Worthington Mason

The Life and Wives of James Worthington Mason

presented by

Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

Thursday, April 28

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

 

The Baths by Josephine Mason (1872-1952), daughter of James W. Mason. Courtesy of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.

The Baths by Josephine Mason (1872-1952), daughter of James W. Mason. Courtesy of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.

James Worthington Mason (1841-1874), a former slave turned Reconstruction politician, emerged as Chicot County’s “political boss” in the 1870s. Few, if any, Chicot County slaves had the advantages of Mason in the antebellum era: the son of the county’s wealthiest planter, Elisha Worthington, he and his sister were educated in the North and James continued his studies in France. While historians are aware of Mason’s important political career, little has been made of his personal life. The wives he chose and what became of his two daughters is a fascinating window into four African American women’s lives. Emerging from slavery and freedom, their lives extended to Lincoln’s White House, the American West, Liberia, Paris and London.

 

Please RSVP to this FREE Event
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.



Meandering Rivers in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Meandering Rivers in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley:

Influence on Human Civilization and Forest Resource Management

presented by

Dr. Brian Lockhart

Thursday, March 24

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

Section of Ancient Courses, Mississippi River Meander Belt, Plate 22, Sheet 9 (Fisk 1944)

Section of Ancient Courses, Mississippi River Meander Belt, Plate 22, Sheet 9 (Fisk 1944)

Brian R. Lockhart, Ph.D., a forest researcher, will discuss the meanderings of the Mississippi, Arkansas and Ohio rivers in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) over the past 6,000 years. These meanderings have affected human settlement and trade, as well as, the species composition of bottomland hardwood forests. Dr. Lockhart, who has degrees from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Yale University, and Mississippi State University, will also discuss how humans have recently affected the flow of rivers in the MAV and how scientists study and manage bottomland hardwood forests.

 

Please RSVP to this FREE Event
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.



Lakeport Legacies Schedule for 2016

March 24 · Meandering Rivers in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley: Influence on Human Civilization and Forest Resource Management  · Dr. Brian Lockhart

April 28 · The Life and Wives of James Worthington Mason · Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

May 26 · The Adventures of the Bastianelli and Pianalto Sisters: History from the Tontitown Museum  · Dr. Rebecca Howard (University of Arkansas)

June 23 · Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta  · Mason Toms (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program/Main Street Arkansas)

July 28 · Revising the Mississippi Capitol · Jennifer Baughn and Brenda Davis (Mississippi Department of Archives and History)

August 25 · The Other Lycurgus Johnson: U.S. Colored Troops and Civil War Pension Files in Chicot County  · Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held at the Lakeport Plantation focusing on history in the Delta.  Lakeport Legacies meets on one of the last Thursdays of the spring and summer months at 5:30 p.m. with the program starting at 6:00 p.m. 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.



Lakeport Legacies · August 27 · Delta Modern · Jennifer Baughn

Delta Modern

presented by

Jennifer Baughn, Mississippi Department of Archives & History

Thursday, August 27

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

The "modernistic" Sunflower Grocery, designed by Harold Kaplan, opened in 1959 in Greenville.

The “modernistic” Sunflower Grocery, designed by Harold Kaplan, opened in 1959 in Greenville.

IMG_9506

“White Pillars” is a Neoclassical Colonial home designed in 1948 for the Nash family by Harold Kaplan. The traditional architecture is in contrast to many of Kaplan’s Modernist public architecture.

 

Lakeport Plantation’s monthly history talk, Lakeport Legacies, will feature Jennifer Baughn, chief architectural historian at the Mississippi Department of Archives & History. Mrs. Baughn, in her talk titled, “Delta Modern,” will discuss Mid-Century architecture (1930s-1960s) in the Mississippi Delta. At Mid-Century, traditional and modern styles were competing architectural visions. In the Delta, the period is exemplified by two architects: Leland native Harold Kaplan and Jackson’s N. W. Overstrett. Kaplan’s Modern designs for public buildings, like T. L. Weston High School (1954), are a contrast to his designs for traditional Colonial private homes, like White Pillars (1948) in Greenville’s Gamyn Park neighborhood. Drawing from examples across the Delta, Baughn will discuss the region’s most interesting Modern architecture such as Greenville’s Coleman High School and Delta State’s Young-Mauldin Cafeteria. Exemplifying the optimism and booming economy of the decades after World War II, Mississippi’s Modernist architecture is gaining the appreciation of both historians and architecture buffs for its clean lines, functional planning, and futuristic detailing.

 

Please RSVP to this FREE Event
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.



Lakeport Legacies — Annie Read Reeves’ Chicot County Civil War Diary, 1861-1863

Annie Read Reeves’ Chicot County Civil War Diary, 1861-1863

presented by

Dr. Blake Wintory, Lakeport Plantation

Thursday, July 30

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

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The Rossmere Plantation, founded in 1847 by George Read IV, was located on the east side of Lake Chicot south of Stuart’s Island. In 1861, the plantation had over 1300 acres and 61 slaves. One of those slaves, Lucretia Alexander, was interviewed by the WPA in the 1930s.

Annie Read Reeves, a widow with four children, left New Castle, Delaware in October 1861 during the first year of the Civil War. They arrived at the Rossmere Plantation on Old River Lake in Chicot County on November 22. Annie and her brother George Read IV (1812-1859) were the great-grandchildren of George Read I, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Her late brother founded Rossmere in 1846 and her sister-in-law, Susan (Chapman) Read, still resided there in 1861. Reeves’ diary (1861-1863) details her trip to Chicot County and experiences during the Civil War. Wintory will discuss the diary and what we know about the Read family and plantation from other sources: deeds, tax records, Susan Read’s letters, a memoir by Annie’s daughter, and a slave narrative.

 

Please RSVP to this FREE Event
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.

 

 



LAKEPORT LEGACIES — Absentee Masters of the Mississippi River

Absentee Masters of the Mississippi River

presented by

Dr. Kelly Houston Jones, Austin Peay State University
Thursday, June 25

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

 

Kenneth Rayner

Kenneth Rayner, a resident of North Carolina, purchased a 538 acre Chicot County plantation in 1845. Writing to a friend, he objected to the land being “in the state of Arkansas” and complained “I will never leave my wife so long again.” Two years later, visiting the plantation during the December harvest, he praised his overseer, “I think my overseer a first rate manager…he has, picked, and packed about 220 bales of cotton” despite bad weather. (Image by Matthew Brady; courtesy of East Carolina Manuscript Collection.)

Many masters along the Mississippi River did not reside on their plantations. Instead they relied on overseers to run the day-to-day operations. The absence of a white family in the “big house” could make the plantation a much different place than one with an owner-resident. Dr. Kelly Houston Jones will discuss her work on R.C. Ballard and other area plantation owners who resided away from their holdings, and what those arrangements would have meant for enslaved people living on those plantations.

 

Please RSVP to this FREE Event
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.



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