Monday, March 3, 2008

Lunenburg, Hunter Mountain, Pumpkin Central, and Mount Olive

We were busy this weekend! Finally...the flu-bugs and the weather took a breather and allowed us a constructive couple of days.

Saturday morning, Newburgian and I drove out to Lunenburg and got some shots of the old stone Schoolhouse there. The people of the community have recently been working hard to clean up the grounds of the school...which is also the site of the old wooden structure that finally fell down in the late 1980s. The steps and parts of the foundation of that building can still be seen. The community has very recently received a grant to go towards restoring the old stone building and the check was presented to them last week at the Capitol in Little Rock by Governor Mike Beebe.

While in Lunenburg, we took the opportunity to document some of the old abandoned homes along the main street through the old town. There truly is a ghosttown atmosphere in this ancient little of the oldest in the county.

Later in the day, HillbillyRecon and I drove out Jumbo Road and onto an old, old track that led to an old one-room wooden schoolhouse that we were unawre of until very recently. We still are not quite sure what ti was called in its day. It sits atop a little rise above a "branch" and sports quite a long rock retaining wall complete with steps. It was a surprise to find such a well-preserved example of one of the old wooden one-room schools so far off the beaten track.

From there, we drove the track down to where the old Richardson house stands. The Richardson house is a period log cabin that is slowly wasting away but is still restorable. It sits a few yards above the bank of Mill Creek downstream a little ways from Pumpkin Central.

After leaving the Richardson place, we headed back around through town and out Knob Creek Road to climb the steep slope of Hunter Mountain to visit the Hunter Mountain Cave. The cave's entrance is similar to that of Stone Box Cave...a deep crater in the side of the hill. There are two entrances once one descends the conical slope to the bottom of the crater. A quick look inside afforded a view of a seemingly unstable structure but also the promise of an intersting cave-crawl in the future. This cave is rumored to go through the mountain to another opening along a bluff...another excursion, perhaps.

Sunday afternoon, HillbillyRecon and I drove to Mount Olive where we documented the old stone schoolhouse there...the sister to the school at Lunenburg. The building is an almost exact copy of the one at Lunenburg and still has the original tile roof! Though the floor is a bit rotten, and the widows are all but gone, this building is awe-inspiring. Great craftsmanship is apparent in the structure of this amazing old fieldstone schoolhouse. Even the large cistern in the rear that serviced the school and its patrons is an example of great workmanship.

After visiting the school at Mount Olive, we explored the grown-up area between the old Presbyterian Church and the railroad track to find the old depot building which is rumored to still partially stand. Although we didn't find that particular building, we came across a giant double chimney towering above the low brush among the thick stand of trees. The chimney must have been a central one in a large home at one time. The perimeter of the old structure can still be made out on the leaf-covered ground. Nearby, we found another foundation of a sizeable building along with its collapsed cistern.

It's not often we have posts stacked up for Exploring Izard County. But this week, we were blessed with good weather and were able to get some amazing photos of some even more amazing places around the county.

1 comment:

jeanie oliver said...

I decided to click on the link in Jeff's blog. I had no idea what to expect-how inspiring! As an Arkansas History teacher for 20 years, I always thought someone needs to put together photos of our county(Fulton). I never dreamed of doing something so cool as what you have put together. I heard so many of these place names in things my step-grandfather(Cecil Smith) would tell me when I was growing up. He was raised around Melbourne. I have gone through your entire blog. Carry on!
Jeanie Oliver