Yell County Archive

My Hometown: Dardanelle

This piece was originally published in the April issue of ABOUT the River Valley magazine. I grew up in Dardanelle through the 1970s and 80s. My parents came of age in the same small town in the 1950s and 60s. Back in the early 1900s, their parents grew up in the logging community of Harkey’s
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

McElroy House Story Plants

This was first published in ABOUT the River Valley magazine in partnership with the McElroy House. It’s been a while since we posted here on the BDJ, mostly due to the growing work of the McElroy House. The McElroy House and the Boiled Down Juice share a close relationship; The Boiled Down Juice is an idea
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

Southern Stories: Campaign for Racial Equality

[This letter was written as a part of the Other Arkansas collective and represents a myriad of voices. A shortened version of this letter was submitted to the Courier newspaper. Please join us THIS Saturday in Dardanelle for a community event and please consider signing your name to this letter and asking others to do the
Category: African American History

Hearths of Courage: Growing Beloved Communities

A few weeks ago near Harrison, Arkansas the KKK hosted a week long training camp. Open to ages sixteen and up, the camp attracted people from around the nation and sought to build “a mighty army” to fight against “racial genocide” and bring about “racial redemption.” This is the same KKK who purchased the large
Category: Arkansas

What the Children Will Expect of Us: A Living Room Conversation

Last week a coalition of several organizations and individuals across the south launched a media campaign calling on white people in small towns and rural areas to stand up against white supremacy and break through the cultures of silence surrounding race and racism. Our media campaign is just the first step in our collective long
Category: Arkansas

Storm Cellar Stories

  Recently my dear friend Suzanne Alford-Hodges loaned me her copy of the amazing book Garden Sass: A Catalog of Arkansas Folkways. Written in 1975 by Nancy McDonough, this book is much like a regional version of the famed Foxfire series, a combination of folklore, oral histories and photos from around the state. The subtitle
Category: Arkansas

Honoring Local Women’s Stories: Storytelling and Oral History Event at the McElroy House

    Growing up in an intergenerational family with my grandmother in the home, family gatherings and daily life were filled with stories about the lives of people who had long since passed on. Likewise, the landscape was marked by these stories. I knew that my grandfather made a home on what is now a
Category: Arkansas

Muzzled Oxen Part 4: Malaria and Tornados

  In several past columns I’ve discussed the recent publication Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. Written by the late Genevieve Grant Sadler of California and published by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, this memoir tells of Sadler’s time in the bottoms outside of Dardanelle, Arkansas where she and her
Category: African American

Running Dry: A Creek Discovery

The Backyard Living column is a regular feature in ABOUT the River Valley magazine and a partnership between this site, A View from the Backroads, and the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources and Community Action. This column originally ran in the June issue ofABOUT the River Valley Magazine.  All columns in this series are written by Meredith Martin-Moats. Click here to learn
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

Community Singings and Square Dances: Muzzled Oxen Part 3

If you’ve been reading this column lately you’re familiar with our regular features on the recently published book, Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. Published by Butler Center Books, a branch of the Central Arkansas Library system, this three hundred fifty page memoir documents the stories of Genevieve Grant Sadler, a
Category: African American History