Talk:Calico Rock, Arkansas

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Untitled[edit]

The History of Calico Rock, Arkansas

Calico Rock, located on the White River in Izard County, developed as a steamboat landing originally known as Calico Landing. Keelboats had worked the upper White River as early as 1820, followed by paddle wheelers carrying merchandise and passengers from as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana. It became a boomtown in 1902, when construction began on the railroad as tracks were laid along the north bank, beneath the bluffs. The settlement was the headquarters for railroad construction crews. In 1902, the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railway opened rail service there. Calico Rock was the largest town in Izard County through the 1960s.

European Exploration and Settlement through Early Statehood While the region’s early history is obscure, it was a wild and unsettled region before the Louisiana Purchase, when law placed heavy restrictions on travel by pioneers. Before it was settled, it already bore the name “calico rocks” because of the wide strips of color—blue, black, gray, red, and orange—giving the appearance of alternate widths of calico cloth on the bluffs bordering the river on the north. No other city in the United States has this name.

Early French explorers took note of the pristine beauty of the river valley, naming the river “La Rivière Blanche.” In writing of his tours of Missouri and Arkansas in 1818 and 1819, author, scientist, and explorer Henry R. Schoolcraft referred to the shore as “calico rock.”

Many Native American artifacts have been discovered in the area. Land in this region along the south side of the White River had been ceded to the Cherokee. The Cherokee were never moved onto the land, but the Shawnee tribe was moved there in 1819. The area’s first white settlers had a good relationship with these Indians, hunting, farming, and trading together. The Shawnee seemed to relocate from the area by the mid-1850s. The Benge Trail of Tears passed about three miles east of town. The Flood of 1927 unearthed a Native American burial ground immediately across the river from the business district.

Calico Rock’s boat landing was at the river’s confluence with Calico Creek, which flows between the two bluff formations on the river’s north bank. It was the most popular docking site above Batesville (Independence County), which was as far upstream on the upper White as steamboats could navigate.

The first post office was established in 1851. By November 1852, the post office closed and was not reestablished until May 1879, with William M. Aikin as postmaster.

In 1857, the first of several stores opened, this one operated by Bartley Kennedy. The same year, Robert C. Matthews opened a store, which closed at the outset of the Civil War.

Civil War through the Gilded Age While there was some skirmishing in and around Calico Rock during the Civil War, there was considerable jayhawking, including general harassment, stealing, looting, and burning. This, along with the commerce around the boat landing and the arrival of railroad construction crews, caused Calico Rock to acquire a reputation as a tough frontier town.

By 1867, Reconstruction had begun. A man named Ellis opened a new general mercantile business in town, followed by Albert Edmonston’s opening a business of his own in 1871. A firm known as Sams

Ghost town in Calico Rock![edit]

 Unfortunately, the so called Ghost Town in Calico Rock is nothing more than a few old falling down buildings that aren't worth any trip to go see.  Even the townsfolk don't like the idea of the "Ghost Town" either!  However, there are some very nice shops and a very nice restaurant right along main street just north of the bridge that do make a trip to Calico worthwhile.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.216.225.209 (talk) 03:32, 28 November 2010 (UTC) 

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External links modified[edit]

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