Thursday, August 22, 2019

This Old House

Sitting just off the edge of downtown Little Rock is the old Woodruff House, which is one of the oldest homes in the city. It was constructed in 1853 for William Woodruff, who founded the Arkansas Gazette newspaper. The home was used by Union soldiers during the Civil War as an officer's headquarters and as a hospital. The Woodruffs eventually sold the house in 1891, and it went through several uses in the decades afterwards. It was a women's boarding home for awhile, and then was divided into apartments. In 1999, a tornado damaged the building (taking out most of the roof and almost all of the windows). A fire caused some minor damage to the house in 2005, and it has been vacant ever since. Luckily the Quapaw Quarter Association acquired the house and did some repairs and stabilized the structure, and have made it available for purchase now. The Woodruff House would require a lot of work to get it to be livable again but it does have a great location - it is just right within walking distance of all the delicious beers being brewed at Lost Forty.

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Into The Spider-Verse

A large spider recently decided to take up residence on our back porch, where it strings up a large web each night by the lights. I managed to do a little time-lapse of it one night as it started building the web, which took about 30-40 minutes. I was a little disappointed that the spider didn't leave any messages like in Charlotte's Web, but hopefully it did catch a bunch of mosquitoes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Waverly

From Cotton Plant, I drove further east into the Delta. The drive took me through small towns and fields, and even by one police officer who pulled me over for speeding (but was kind enough to let me go on a warning, thanks!). I made a few stops, including this one at an old abandoned building that had this strange clump of dead vine stuck to its side.

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And then in the town of Wynne I stopped by the railroad tracks to get as shot (but didn't stay there too long, a big freight train passed by a few minutes later).

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I managed to keep my speed under control as I drove towards West Memphis and then stopped by this old church, which was surrounded by a sea of tall grass. The sun was starting to set, and golden light was streaming in from the west.

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An old propane tank sat by the church, flanked by two windows that had some some wispy and ghostly remains of curtains. I wasn't able to find much info about this church, but did see a post that determined that the church was once called St. John's Missionary Baptist Church.

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Just down the road is what I think was an old cotton gin that was once part of the Waverly Plantation.

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I wasn't able to find any info on when this building was constructed, but it may have been sometime in the 1920s or 1930s.

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Vines and ivy were growing wild on the back of the building, which was empty on the inside (except for a few owls who were living inside).

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Next to the building were soybean fields and a few other buildings, and also a stretch of mud that had dried out in the summer heat.

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The cracked and dried mud created some interesting patterns and colors.

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And some last shots, of a few plants that managed to catch hold in the mud and have grown up from the splintered dirt.

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Cotton Plant

From Des Arc, I drove further east through more of the flat lands of the Arkansas Delta. Along the way, I passed by this rusty old tractor that was surrounded by tall grass and weeds. The air was thick with humidity and with hundreds of dragonflies.

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The next stop was the small town of Cotton Plant, which has a population of about 650 people. Cotton Plant was once a thriving town, but it has faced the same economic struggles that have afflicted so many Delta towns. Many buildings along Main Street looked to be abandoned and were slowly crumbling away. Vines were growing up against the side of this building, which may have been a church at one time. In the background is the Cotton Plant Water Tower, which was built in 1935 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Along Main Street is this old store which still has some merchandise sitting out on display even though it has been abandoned for several years now. Thick dust covers everything inside, and the back wall of the building has collapsed.

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Nearby was this shell of a building, which was once the home of a liquor store. The window here may have once been a drive-through window, maybe?

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While these pictures only show abandoned and neglected buildings, it should be noted that there has been some recent positive news for the town of Cotton Plant. The town, which was named after cotton is now the home of another kind of plant - marijuana. After the state of Arkansas approved the sale of medical marijuana, a site in Cotton Plant was selected to host the state's first marijuana cultivation facility. Hopefully the economic impact of the cultivation facility will help dispel the chronic economic problems and help to lead the city to new highs.

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Des Arc

The Prairie County Courthouse in Des Arc has to be high on the list of prettiest courthouses in Arkansas. This is partly due to its location, which is perched on a bluff overlooking a curve in the White River. The courthouse was built in 1913, and features a mixture of Georgian Revival and Romano-Tuscan architectural styles. The front of the courthouse is marked by a two story portico and also a clock tower. This is one of two courthouses in Prairie County, the other one is located in De Valls Bluff.

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I should note that the tire tracks were already there when I took this photo, and not caused by me driving around the grass in front of the courthouse.