Monday, August 29, 2016


From Pine Bluff, I headed across the Arkansas River and drove through the small town of Altheimer (population about 1,000). Altheimer was settled in the 1880s around a railroad line, and soon was a thriving town. But like so many other Delta towns, Altheimer has struggled economically in the recent decades. The core of buildings that once stood along Front Street in the downtown area are mostly gone (the only way you would even know any buildings were there are concrete slabs that line the street).

During the great flood of 1927, the area around Altheimer flooded. People took shelter in the second floor of the buildings downtown to escape the floodwaters. But now only a few buildings remain in the town's downtown. One of those is the Leake Building, which dates back to 1917. It looks like the roof of the building has collapsed in part, and the building has been abandoned.


On the side of the building is an old ghost sign for Grapette soda. Grapette was introduced in 1939, and was bottled in Camden, Arkansas. It soon became extremely popular, although sales declined after it was sold to other soft drink companies in the 1970s. By 1977, the Grapette brand was shut down and the recipe was retired in the United States. But in 2000 Grapette made a return, with the original recipe now being produced by Wal-Mart and sold under the Sam's Choice brand of drinks.


As I was leaving Altheimer and heading back towards home, I drove over these railroad tracks and stopped to get a few pictures. It was nearing sunset, and the sky and clouds were beginning to show the colors of dusk.


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