Page 1

Arkansas’ south VISITORS GUIDE

Gone MAD

Murphy Arts District Revives Arts and Entertainment Scene

Picking Favorites

Discovering Local Treasures

Finding Felsenthal

Hunting Stories and More in the Outdoors

Food ● Festivals ● Outdoors ● History ● Culture ● Arts ● Antiques


Cro sset t

One of the oldest continuously running rodeos, now over 60 years old

Christmas in Crossett

Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge

E CROSSROAD AT TH S

w ew

Old Charm j

N E W

A D V E N T U R E S

One of the oldest continuously running rodeos, now over 60 years old

Wiggins Cabin Festival • Second Saturday in October

CROSSETT AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

101 W. 1st Avenue • Crossett, AR 71635 • crossettchamber@windstream.net • (870) 364-6591 • CrossettChamber.org

Ad Sponsored By: TM

Area Chamber of Commerce

City of Crosse, Arkansas 71635

Economic Development Foundation


In This Issue

Picking Favorites

hogskin Holidays

discoverING local treasures

An annual tradition

18 2 4 8 12

Welcome to Arkansas’ south Gone MAD

Murphy Arts District revives arts and entertainment scene

arts in the area heading south driving tours of interest

20 24 31 32

28 Calendar of events exploring logoly things to see and do at area state parks

moving down south

life in el dorado

dining down south good food with southern hospitality

34 36 38 40 42

dining guide finding felsenthal hunting stories more in the outdoors cities Down South

Advertiser Index Accommodations Country Inn & Suites El Dorado ...................... 22 Days Inn Fordyce .......................................... 22 Union Square Guest Quarters ........................ 10 Arts • Attractions • Parks Arkansas State Parks .................................... 17 Crossett Harbor/RV Park .............................. 25 ML Porter Fine Art.......................................... 10 South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society .......................................................... 17 Warren Shooting Sports Complex .................. 25 Chambers • Cities • Counties Calhoun County ............................................. 23 City of Crossett ........................................... IFC City of Hampton ............................................ 23 City of Smackover ......................................... 26 Crossett Chamber ...................................... IFC Crossett Economic Development ................ IFC Dallas County ................................................ 22 El Dorado Advertising & Promotion Commission .................................................. 11 Main Street El Dorado .................................... 23 Union County ................................................ 25

Financial Services First National Bank Crossett ........................ IFC Insurance Center, Inc. ................................... 26 Smackover State Bank .................................. 26 Festivals Hogskin Holidays Festival .............................. 23 Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival ................... 22 Manufacturing Murphy USA ................................................. 11 Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation ..... 43 Silicon Ranch ................................................. 43 12MW Solar Farm ......................................... 43 Restaurants Antigua’s Grill ................................................ 35 El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant .................... 35 4-Dice Restaurant........................................... 35 Griffin Restaurant/ Murphy Arts District ......... 33 Postmasters Grill ........................................... 35 The Smokin’ Bull ........................................... 35 White House Cafe ......................................... 35 Woods Place ................................................. 35 Retail Artesana Soaps ............................................. 30

Crossett Mercantile Co. #3 ............................ 30 Gunter Hill Collections .................................. 30 Holt Builders Supply ...................................... 30 Mid South Market .......................................... 30 MOD Maverick Studio ................................... 30 Suzanne’s Fruit Farm .................................... 30 The Jewelry Box ............................................ 30 University Southern Arkansas University Tech ................ 25 Publisher: CJRW Printer: Democrat Printing & Lithographing Co. 30M 4/18 Printed in U.S.A. This brochure is paid for with a combination of state funds and regional association funds.

On The Cover: Globallyrecognized artist Robert Finley performs in the Griffin Music Hall in El Dorado’s downtown Murphy Arts District, bringing world-renowned music to Arkansas’ South.

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

1


WELCOME TO

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH WHERE

SOU T H E R N

z

CH A R M ,

HOSPITALITY,

HISTORY, ARTS, CULTURE AND NATURE COMBINE TO CREATE AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES YOU DON’T FIND

ANYWHERE ELSE .

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

IN OUR CITIES AND TOWNS CELEBRATE THE THINGS THAT MAKE THIS PLACE SPECIAL . IT’S IN THE TREES, THE DAFFODILS, THE THE BATTLEFIELDS, THE

WATERS, H PARKS,

HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENTS ,

THE MUSIC, THE

MUSEUMS ,

THE

FOOD,

THE PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET.

WE TAKE

PRIDE IN OUR DOWNTOWNS ,

DOTTED WITH SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS AND COLORFUL MURALS

THAT PAINT THE PICTURE OF OUR UNIQUE

STORY .

H NATURAL STATE” IS A WAY OF LIFE HERE

WITH OUR MILES OF

RIVERS AND BAYOUS, ACRES

OF CLEAR LAKES AND DEEP FORESTS FOR CAMPING,

FISHING, KAYAKING, HIKING AND BIKING. ARKANSAS’ SOUTH OFFERS

SERIOUS FUN AND IT’S WAITING FOR YOU! 2

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


dallas s

ouachita ua ac calhoun ca a ho h bradley dley ey y

ashley as shle ley l Union columbia c b

TRAVELING WITH PETS Traveling with your favorite canine or feline friend? For information on camping and hiking with your four-legged friend, get in touch with the individual governing agency – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Arkansas State Parks, U.S.D.A. Forest Service or National Park Service. Each has different rules regarding pets. For pet-friendly lodging, go to arkansas.com/places-to-stay/pet-friendly. For up-to-the-minute information on weather related road conditions, closures and detours, visit IDriveArkansas.com.

HELPFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS • Emergency: 911 • Arkansas State Police: 501-618-8000 • Arkansas State Parks: 501-682-1191; For reservations, call 877-879-2741 • Weather Information: 501-834-0308 • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission: 501-223-6300, 800-364-4263 • Welcome Center El Dorado: 870-881-9160

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

3


Gone

MA D y Arts District Murph

Revives Arts and ainment Scene Entert

El Dorado, historic boomtown and world headquarters of Murphy Oil Corporation, has struck big again with the grand opening of the Murphy Arts District. This South Arkansas city, like many other cities and towns across the country, needed something big after the economic downturn a decade ago. In years past, El Dorado attracted workers looking for oil and manufacturing jobs. Now it looks to the resurgence of its arts and entertainment scene to bring young professionals, as well as visitors, music lovers, festivalgoers and foodies, down South. El Dorado Festivals & Events worked for four years to make the Murphy Arts District happen, and it’s finally here in the heart of downtown.

4

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Griffin Restaurant, El Dorado

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

5


The $54 million renovation centers around the 1928 Griffin Building. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was a former Model T showroom that now houses the Griffin Music Hall with 2,000+ seats, a farm-to-table restaurant called The Griffin and a cabaret lounge. It also overlooks the 8,000-capacity amphitheater, a two-acre children’s playscape, the largest in the state, and the site of the farmers’ market next door. This is just phase one. Phase two, to the tune of $32 million, will see the historic 1920 Rialto Theater, once a favorite for its vaudeville performances, fully restored to its original grandeur for showcasing concerts, plays, comedy shows and movies. Also in the works is a 10,000-squarefoot art gallery with traveling exhibits, art classes and events.

“We don’t want to

change the world; we just want to

show it a good time.” Amid all of the new development, what newcomers may not realize is that El Dorado has long been tapped into the arts. The South Arkansas Arts Center is in its 54th year and the South Arkansas Symphony, the state’s oldest, is in its 62nd season. The annual MusicFest El Dorado celebrates its 31st anniversary this year in mid-October. Downtown is a mix of old and new with Old Heritage Park commemorating how it all got started and Murphy Arts District suggesting that the best is still to come. You can become a member of the Murphy Arts District and receive benefits like invitations to members-only events plus discounts at the restaurant and other perks. To learn more, visit ElDoMad.com.

These venues – the amphitheater, music hall and restaurant – host concerts and shows year-round. Thursday Night Live is a free live music series at the Griffin Restaurant, and the stage has welcomed performances by well-known Arkansas acts such as Rodney Block. Among the major upcoming concerts to go MAD about is Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit on May 5 at Griffin Music Hall. MAD will also host the 2018 El Dorado Film Festival in August, an annual event that was founded in 2014 and continues to grow in fan interest and participation. 6

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Monthly

Thursday Night Live Free live music across the genres of R&B, acoustic, rock, bluegrass and country every Thursday night at the Griffin Restaurant.

May 3-5: Southern Food and Wine Festival August 2-5: El Dorado Film Festival October 18-20: MusicFest El Dorado December 31: NYE Bash

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

7


Arts

IN THE AREA

Countryside ML Porter, Warren

8

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Arts

IN THE AREA

South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, El Dorado

ASA

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

9


’ South Arkansas

Finest Lo

dging

Within a three minute walk from the Murphy Arts District, our executive inn located in beautiful Downtown El Dorado offers nine suites, eight junior suites, six luxury suites and a two-bedroom furnished rental house with all amenities, complimentary breakfast buffet, deluxe fitness center, high-speed internet and secured wifi. Our unique dining and lodging accommodations include the Myrtell House, Granite Club and Balcony on the Square. Next to Union Square Guest Quarters is an 1883 Georgia Pacific parlor car with train shed and patio. Guests are served complimentary breakfast and the opportunity to dine in a unique atmosphere.

Make your reservations today!

234 East Main Street • El Dorado, AR 71730 870-866-6999 • 870-864-9700 email: usgq@usgq.net

www.usgq.net

ML Porter Fine Art MARY LOUISE PORTER Contemporary Landscape Artist Original Paintings & Prints By Appointment 318-332-1176 www.mlporterfineart.com ML Porter Fine Art Ancestral Gifts

48”x 60” Acrylic, layered cut canvas, paper

“THE BEGINNING OF A PAINTING IS ALWAYS MYSTERIOUS TO ME. A PAINTING DEVELOPS FOR ME, UNRAVELING THE COMPOSITION, AS THE COLORS, LINE, SHAPES, AND TEXTURE SEEMS TO EMERGE ON THE CANVAS.”

10

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH

@mlporter8 mlporterfineart


Destination:

Entertainment

If your travel includes El Dorado, make the El Dorado Insider a must-see before arriving. The Insider is a quarterly visitors’ guide with an engaging social media presence that offers the latest information on events, entertainment, and everything El Dorado! Also visit GoElDorado.com for complete details on one of Arkansas’ newest arts & entertainment destinations.

goeldorado.com

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

11


h e a di n

g S OU T H

Driving Tours

of Interest

Paul “Bear” Bryant Statue

12

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Tour One:

Famous People and Places This tour begins in Fordyce at the junction of U.S. 167, U.S. 79 and Hwy. 8. Fordyce is the hometown of beloved Paul “Bear” Bryant, former Alabama head football coach. The Dallas County Museum has an exhibit on Bryant and the Fordyce Redbugs football team called “The Bear and the Bugs.” Fordyce is also the place where The Rolling Stones

were notoriously arrested. Driving a rented 1975 yellow Chevy Impala from Memphis to their next gig in Dallas, the band stopped to eat at the local 4-Dice restaurant, dining on fried chicken, T-bone steaks and French fries with brown gravy. They left a $1.65 tip and autographs. Soon after, they were pulled over for “reckless driving.” Though Keith Richards he passed a sobriety test, Keith Richards was arrested for carrying an illegal weapon (a hunting knife). After this incident, the band vowed to never play in Arkansas again; they eventually did in 1994 and again in 2006 when then-Governor Mike Huckabee pardoned Richards. Richards opened his 2010 memoir, Life, recounting his arrest in Fordyce. Other notable people from this area: Charles B. Pierce grew up in Hampton, which is also the hometown of director Harry Thomason (best known for “Designing Women”), the late blues musician Michael Burks was raised in Camden, and K.T. Oslin was born in Crossett. Continue south on U.S. 79 to Magnolia, where True Blood author Charlaine Harris resided. Magnolia is home of the World Championship Steak Cookoff

as part of the annual Magnolia Blossom Festival in May. Downtown Magnolia is also known for its murals, one of which is signed by actor Charlton Heston.

Magnolia Murals

Tour Two:

Oddities and Curiosities Beginning in Smackover, this tour details some of the unusual stories that have come from Arkansas South. Rhena Salome Miller Meyer is better known as the Goat Woman of Smackover. A former circus

performer and trained opera singer, she lived in Smackover for 50 years and became a local legend for her reclusive nature and numerous pet goats (which she considered her children). Her Ford Model-T circus wagon is on display at Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources State Park. From Smackover, continue on Hwy. 7 to Norphlet near El Dorado to see the roadside attraction, the Norphlet Crater, the result of a 1922 drill gone wrong. The J. T. Murphy Oil No. 1 well collapsed, swallowing the derrick and other equipment. Today all that remains is a 600-feet wide and 100-feet deep hole in the ground. Other odds and ends to come from Arkansas South: Camark Pottery. At one time, it was the best-known industry in Camden. No longer in production, its pieces are now collectibles. Grapette, the famous grape soda, also got its start in Camden. A Camden favorite, Woods Place is a great place to stop and have a plate lunch or homestyle dinner and view vintage Grapette signage and memorabilia.

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

13


Marks’ Mills Battleground State Park

14

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Poison Springs battleground State Park near Camden

Tour three:

Civil War Sites On March 23, 1864, Union General Frederick Steele marched 8,500 troops from Little Rock, intent on joining another federal army unit in Louisiana to seize Shreveport and conquer East Texas. Within weeks, running low on supplies, it became clear to Steele that he would never make it to Louisiana, so he decided to converge on Camden where there were reportedly fresh supplies. The reports were false, and Steele soon found himself hunkered down in town with bands of Confederates surrounding him. Two General Frederick Steele attempts to procure supplies resulted in disastrous defeats at Poison Springs near Bluff City on April 19 and Marks’ Mills on April 25, which led to the Union abandonment of their post at Camden. These battles are interpreted at Poison Springs Battleground State Park and Marks’ Mills Battleground State Park. In Camden, tour the McCollum-Chidester House. Built for Peter McCollum in 1847, the home was used during the Red River Campaign, first occupied by Confederate General Sterling Price, then by General Steele. Bullet holes and damage by cannon fire can still be seen in the home, which is open for guided tours. Also in Camden is Oakland Cemetery. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the site commemorates 200 fallen Confederate soldiers. Another stop should be the Ouachita County Courthouse where a monument dedicated to women in the Civil War can be found on the lawn. Fun fact, the TV mini-series “North & South” was filmed in Camden. JENKINS FERRY BATTLEGROUND ST. PARK

The state park interprets the battlefield with outdoor exhibits and picnic sites.

Poison Springs Battleground State Park near Camden

Oakland Cemetery, Camden Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Features a tall marble monument commemorating the final resting place of 200 Confederate soldiers.

46

April 30, 1864

167

Leola

229

O

ITA CH UA

7 167

79

MARKS’ MILLS BATTLEGROUND ST. PARK

Fordyce

April 25, 1864

79

167

POISON SPRINGS BATTLEGROUND ST. PARK April 19, 1864

Warren 278

Camden

Hampton

79 7

R Smackover

167

IV

E

8 63

R

425

Magnolia 82

El Dorado

Hamburg Crossett

15

82 167

7

AR

Oakland Cemetery

LA

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

15


Jenkins Ferry Battleground State Park, ark. 46 south of Sheridan The battlefield, now largely in timber production, is still prone to heavy spring flooding, as it was when the two armies met there on April 30, 1864. Open daily from dawn to dusk.

Marks’ Mills Battleground State Park Jenkins Ferry Battleground State Park

McCollum-Chidester House, Camden Built for Peter McCollum in 1847, the home was occupied during the Red River Campaign of the Civil War by Confederate General Sterling Price, then Union General Frederick Steele. Bullet holes and damage by cannon-fire can still be seen in the home. Open for tours.

Marks’ Mills battleground State Park near Fordyce

The area, reportedly heavily wooded at the time of the battle, appears much that way today. Open daily from dawn to dusk.

Fort Southerland, Camden

McCollum-Chidester House 16

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH

Fort Southerland, Camden View a gun emplacement, part of the fortification of Camden.

ASA


South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society

El Dorado, Arkansas | 870.862.9890 www.soarkhistory.com |

Moro Bay #ARStateParks

MORE PARKS.

MORE POSSIBILITIES.

Looking for the perfect setting to come together with family and friends? It’s hard to find more possibilities than the ones found in Arkansas’s 52 state parks. Fish, hike, bike, camp, swim or just relax under the stars. The choice is yours. So pick your adventure, your park and your week. Then, come see us.

ArkansasStateParks.com

For reservations, call 877-879-2741

My park, your park, our parks

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

17


Hog sk i n

Ho lida ys An Annual Tradition

18

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Second weekend In April in hampton, arkansas:

Become A “Hogskinner” A CALHOUN COUNTY TRADITION

Local legend has it that during the Great Depression, there were a lot of hogs running loose in the river bottoms of lower Calhoun County. Money was hard to come by, and food was scarce, so people from other counties traveled to Calhoun County to hunt hogs. They killed the hogs and skinned them in the woods. Hunters left the hogskins hanging on a fence post or draped over a tree branch and took the dressed hogs home to their families to eat. There were so many hogskins left in the woods that Calhoun County became known as “Hogskin County.” The skins may be gone, but the nickname has remained. In 1992, a festival was created in its honor. Each year during the second weekend in April, the people of Calhoun County embrace their heritage with Hogskin Holidays.

MISS HOGSKIN SWEETHEART PAGEANT

ARTS & CRAFTS

PIG R A C E S PORK

C O O K O F F

BASS

TOURNAMENT

RODEO

m

u

s

i

c

c o n c e r t s

For more info, visit hogskin-holidays.com.

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

19


20

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Holiday Lights, Crossett

Christmas in Crossett


MOST CONVENIENT LOCATION

• Speedy Check-In • Indoor Pool • Comfortable Lobby • Executive Meeting Room

• 33 Studio Suites • 3 Jacuzzi® Suites • 12 One-Bedroom Suites • 23 Standard Rooms

• Flat Screen TVs • Complimentary Breakfast with Real Dishware & Flatware • New Fitness Room

2413 West Hillsboro, El Dorado

BY RADISSON

®

countryinns.com/eldoradoar

Reservations: (870) 881-0455

800-456-4000

ASA

22

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


It all comes together Make yourself at home while enjoying our shops, restaurants, inns and entertainment. Find yourself spending your day strolling around our beautiful square and engaging in the best that South Arkansas has to offer. Shop, stay, eat and play, all on Main Street, in El Dorado, Arkansas.

mainstreeteldorado.org

DOWNTOWN


SOUTHERN ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY TECH

STUDY

PLAY

STAY

870-574-4500 www.sautech.edu


106 S. Adams Ave., Camden (870) 807-2050

midsouthmarket

Antiques, Collectibles, Gifts and More! Featuring 70+ Vendors


g i n mDoo wv n So ut h

o L i f e i n E l D or a d

ASA

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

31


32

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


RESTAURANT BAR • LIVE MUSIC

870.444.3008 www.eldomad.com/griffinrestaurant

Spudnut Shoppe, El Dorado

101 E. Locust, El Dorado,AR

Home of “The Lost Spudnut”


L &D

D L &D

L

D

L

L

D

D

L &D

L &D

D

-

L &D


Great Family Atmosphere Exceptional Customer Service Awesome Facilities for all your needs:

Private Dining Room Catering, Patio, Bar, Grill Flat Screen TVs Drive Thru

Monday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. (870) 454-7088 114 Washington St. SW Camden Like us for Daily Specials!


36

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


D I NG N I F f e lse n t h a l With its hardwood forests and some of the state’s best lakes and rivers, Arkansas’ South is rich with outdoor opportunities that draw visitors from across the country and around the world. From biking to boating to fishing to hunting, we provide the backdrop, all you have to do is get out there.

Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

37


Hunt ing i Storiesi

38

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


ASA

Overflow National Refuge

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

39


more in t h e

f

Outdoo r s

Trace Pedestrian Trail, Camden

2

5

3 1

40

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH

4

6 7

Lake Columbia, Magnolia


3 1

4

2 1

5

3

6

2 4

1 7

3 5 4 6 5

7

6 8

8

12 3 2 4 3 45

7

6 5

8

7 6 8 7 8 1 2 3 1

4

2

5

3 4

6 7 8

5 6

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

41


Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, Smackover

42

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Cities

down south

Where History Lives and the Future Begins

12 MW Solar Farm

Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

43


Cities

down south

44

ARKANSAS’ SOUTH


Cities

down south

ASA

ARKANSASSOUTH.COM

45


P.O. Box 10245 El Dorado, AR 71730 ArkansasSouth.com

Presorted Standard US Postage Paid El Dorado, AR Permit No. 1

Lake Jack Lee, Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge

2018 Arkansas South Visitors Guide  
2018 Arkansas South Visitors Guide