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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

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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



Scott House Designed by Architect James Willis

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The Scott House in Lake Village was built in 1951 for Clyde and Leslie Scott. Clyde, a gifted athlete for the Arkansas Razorbacks and an Olympic medalist, married Leslie Hampton of Lake Village in 1946. The couple built this Mid-Century Modern home as a summer house in 1951. Local lore attributes the house to E. Fay Jones (likely because he was a friend during the Scott’s time in Fayetteville); However, the home does not resemble any of Jones’ work nor is it listed in any of his projects. According to Leslie Scott, the architect was James Willis, who was with the Little Rock firm of Wittenburg, Delony and Davidson from 1949-1955. Later Willis formed the Pine Bluff firm of Reed & Willis with D. A. Reed.

The Scotts owned the house for about five years and then it was sold to the Buffingtons. The Buffingtons sold the home to Charles Turnage. The home is currently vacant.

Courtesy of Arkansas State Archives

Architect James P. Willis (center) with partner D. A. Reed (right) in Pine Bluff, 1958. Photograph by Ernie Deane and Courtesy of Arkansas State Archives

IMAG2098 IMAG2100 IMAG2102 IMAG2103 IMAG2104 IMAG2106 IMAG2107 IMAG2108 IMAG2110

 

Sources:

Cashion, Scott.” Clyde Luther “Smackover” Scott (1924–),” in Arkansas Encyclopedia of History & Culturehttp://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2761 (Accessed June 15, 2016)

Fay Jones Collection, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, https://libraries.uark.edu/specialcollections/manuscripts/FayJones/projects.asp (Accessed June 15, 2016)

Hampton, Leslie. Phone interview, June 15, 2016

Willis, James. Obituary in Find a Grave.com, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=96807198 (Accessed June 15, 2016)

 

 

 



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.



Summer Hours 2016 — SATURDAY TOUR HOURS ADDED

In addition to Lakeport’s regular weekday tours, Lakeport will add Saturday hours (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.) from May 28 until July 30.

Summer Hours 2016
May 28 – July 30
Mon-Friday Tours at 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Open Saturdays to visitors 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Closed Sundays
Closed Memorial Day, Monday, May 30
Closed Independence Day, Monday, July 4

 

Lakeport Plantation is open year round; summer hours add extra Saturday tours to our regular Monday through Friday schedule.

Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tours: Two daily tours (M-F) of the Lakeport Plantation House are offered:

  • 10 a.m.
  • 2 p.m.

If you’d like to tour Lakeport at another time other than 10 a.m. or 2 p.m., please call us 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.



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