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Something exceptional…

has been taking place on the banks of the Eleven Point River in northwest Randolph County, Arkansas. Two early-nineteenth century log structures constructed in Arkansas’s territorial period have inspired a multidisciplinary historic preservation project undertaken by Black River Technical College.  Standing about a mile distant on opposite sides of the Eleven Point River on their…


The 1828 Rice-Upshaw House

The Rice-Upshaw House was initially constructed in 1828 and used possibly as a one-story store/loom house by the builder Reuben Rice. Reuben established a rural trading center soon after the Rice family arrived in the Eleven Point River Valley in 1812.  The structure features an original log partition wall, a rarity in vernacular architecture. A…


The 1833 William Looney Tavern

One of Arkansas’s and the regions’ most finely crafted log structures, the 1833 white oak log dogtrot constructed by William Looney is considered to have functioned as a rural tavern as well serving Looney’s distilling industry. He produced apple brandy in a day when distilling was a common practice for preserving fruits or grain.  In…


Transferring Traditions

Ozella’s painting of log house Two centuries ago yeoman farmers transferred traditions rooted in the 18th century to their new homeland in the Eleven Point River Valley. A great-grand-daughter of pioneer William Looney, Ozella Miller, married Andrew Jackson Upshaw, a great-grandson of another pioneer Reuben Rice.  In her 80s Ozella picked up a paintbrush for…


Education

  The value of the Rice-Upshaw House and William Looney Tavern as sites of heritage tourism is a given.  Their value as “silent educators” is equally important.  The log structures serve as an education lab for students of all ages, elementary to graduate, and a wide range of academic disciplines, allowing them to connect their…