Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little Time Away

James and I were able to sneak away this past week for a few days in Eureka Springs Arkansas.  I had never been that far north into Arkansas before. 

We drove up through the eastern part of Oklahoma which was quite beautiful in places.
Hilly and green.  I had never seen this side of OK. before.  This is what in early pioneer days was referred to on maps as Indian Territory before Oklahoma became a state.

Then we crossed into Arkansas at Ft.Smith Arkansas.  We spent the night there.  My great grandfather had been there to fight in the Civil War.  He fought at the Battle of Pea Ridge
about  200 miles away along with his brother James who was injured there.  He was given permission to take his brother home to Texas.  I suppose the surgeons knew he would not live. 
They got as far as Ft.Smith when James died,  John buried him there in a cemetery and continued on to Arkansas Post joining up with the remainder of his company.  He then fought
at the Battle of Arkansas Post where he was captured.  He was sent to ILLINOIS  to a prisoner camp and later sent to  City Point VA.

  There he was paroled and made his way back to Memphis where his Mother was living at the old family homeplace.  He had joined the Civil War with his older brother James from Texas where he was born and lived.
They were a part of Hood's Brigade. His family migrated to Texas in 1835 but never
gave up their home and land in Memphis.  When his father died his mother Elizabeth returned to Memphis with an older daughter and her family and the two younger sisters. the two older children stayed in TX on the land grants.

Some shots taken inside the Museum Building:  First the Union soldier in the diorama
Next the Confederate soldier in same:
The Uniform Coat of General Curtis who served there in March 1862:
The film they showed was very sad,  I ended up in tears.  No winners in that war.

While there we drove around the park to sites on Pea Ridge National Battleground which consisted of about
4000 acres.  At the Elkhorn Tavern,shown above,  that is one of the sites on the Battlefield weere where one part of the battle occurred and it is here that
we met their interpreter  in period dress and spent over an hour visiting with him and gleaning all the knowledge of that battle from him.  He was so very knowledgeable.  I have never before talked to a more intelligent person.  Of course he did possess several PHD's and is a published author of many books. 

The Elkhorn Tavern, shown in the first picture  was used during the battle as a hospital.  The building,  now a museum is set up with one room as it was then used, a table for surgery, surgeon tools of that period, and medical bottles.  Very realistic with even a fake sawed off arm all bloody. This volunteer was actually from a northern state himself but he took no sides in his presentation as he should not have.  He presented us with all the information regarding the battle from both sides in the conflict.  He did this very well.

The country there was absolutely beautiful, rugged and rocky.  I could imagine from this man's interpretation how the battle occurred and felt a part of it all.  He told us of the Stage routes in that time and where the nearest town was located which was destroyed when the US took over the site for a National Battlefield Park.

I should add here that although this side of my family fought for the South, there were other ancestors fighting on the side of the North.  I do not condone  slavery however, this Civil War  was a part of our history and I have always been a student of history. 

After this informative visit we went on to Eureka Springs and spent 3 days there.  Our B&B
was Ridgeway House in the town of  Eureka Springs.  It is so rocky there.  The old downtown buildings and the residential areas all were as they were in the Victorian era.  The breakfasts at the B&B were nothing short of wonderful.  I ate so much then napped allot too.  I brought back as many of his recipes as I could talk him out of.  The couple who ran the Inn divided the chores with Keith as the cook.  I don't know how Gayla is as a cook, but I would say Keith was a good choice.

We attended the Passion Play one evening and all I can say is it was incredible.  It was so real.   It was a sight you
must see if you are near there.  We were not allowed to use cameras once the play began.  We could hear the cicadas singing their song along with the program.  It is held outdoors. This stadium can hold 4100 people at one time.  It is very large and this small picture does not give you an accurate idea of the grandeur.  It was terribly hot.

On the same property is the CHRIST OF THE OZARKS statue which is 7 stories tall and looks out over the water below the mountain. 

Then another night we went to a show at the Mountain Spring Theater.  It was a variety show with all kinds of music.  It was very entertaining. The performers were very talented and  able to move from one music genre to another with ease.

The main reason for our trip was to celebrate our anniversary.  We did that
and very much enjoyed our time away from the store and home and daily life.

On our way back we stopped in Jefferson TX which is also a Victorian town and stayed
at the old Excelsior Hotel there.  We had been there once before.  The breakfast there is very good so if you go don't miss it.
I will do another post later about Jefferson.
So now we are back home and back at work.  I must say it is hard to get back into the habit of getting up at a certain time, preparing breakfast or any other meal, and going to the worksite, namely my store.  The days this week since returning have dragged by and my
mind frequently escapes back to the rocky yet green slopes of Arkansas. 

If you ever get a chance for a short getaway to Eureka Springs, it is worth the crooked curves to get there from the Ft.Smith/Fayetteville roads or the straighter route through
Little Rock.  That is how I will go next time, but if I had I would have missed Pea Ridge.
I will never forget that.

Have a good week.

1 comment:

Ormolulu said...

Hello Lois ~

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog "Ormolulu". You have no idea had good that made me feel!

I LOVED your last post . . . I was born in Springdale, Arkansas. But my mother divorced and moved us to the Pacific Northwest when I was very small. I remember very little, so I'm very drawn to your discourse. Your writing is excellent--felt like I was there with you! Thanks so much for sharing.

Wish I could come see your shop in Texas!