Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! January finds us busy preparing exhibits and planning events for the upcoming season. Please plan to visit us in 2012. Opening day is May 1.

And please give some thought to joining the Historical Society-- great programs, great friendships, great opportunities to preserve history and serve the community. Our membership year begins in January. Individual memberships are $15 and family memberships are $25. Membership entitles you to a free copy of the Society's annual publication, The Key. For more information, email the curator.

A new year...history to preserve and share...history to be made. Wishing you a healthy and happy new year from SSCHS.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Searching for Henry Norwood

Former slave Henry Norwood and his brother, William, traveled from the Cosatot River "way down south" to Center Township in Sebastian County soon after Appomattox and Emancipation. In 1870 we find them listed in the census as farm hands and know that they were employed by the Gilliam family and L. B. McKinney, who helped them acquire homesteads of forty acres each in White Oak Valley. They appear to have been neighbors of the Stallings family, as well. Oscar Stallings wrote a most interesting article for an issue of the Key Magazine describing the life and times of Henry Norwood and his impact on the community.

The Historical Society is seeking photographs, stories and documents regarding Henry for an exhibit we'd like to develop. Henry was a beloved and respected member of the community with a fascinating and instructive personal history. Can you share information with us that will help us bring Henry's story to light? Please contact the curator at

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from SSCHS

Wishing you all the joys and blessings of the holiday season.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Little Wintery Weather

Last week's dusting of snow brought a holiday look to the Museum complex.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Howard Hill School Bell Finds a Home

Walker Cox of Greenwood has constructed a base for the Howard Hill School Bell, which has long languished on the dog trot of the Vineyard Cabin. Walker completed the project in fulfillment of his Eagle Scout Award. He is pictured her with his father, Mike.

The bell was repatriated to Greenwood some years ago after storage in a field near Oklahoma City. It now rests near the Redwine Pioneer Schoolhouse on the Museum Complex grounds.

Many thanks to Mike and his Dad for providing our bell its long awaited home.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blackstock Donates Vineyard Items to SSCHS

Vineyard descendant Sandra Blackstock has donated four chairs, original to the turn of the century era of the Vineyard Log Cabin, to the SSCHS for display in the cabin. Thes chairs were made by Wilson Lumpkin Davis for his daughter, Mattie Emily Davis, as a wedding present. Mattie married William Andrew Vineyard on July 29, 1882. The family lived in Witcherville, Arkansas, Cartersville, Oklahoma and a short time in Texas before returning to Arkansas in 1904 to reside in the Vineyard Cabin.

Blackstock also contributed andirons crafted by Wilson Lumpkin Davis for the cabin, a wool card, and wooden butter mold owned and used by the family.

Many thanks to Sandra for her generosity. The chairs look "at home" around the cabin's kitchen table.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Family Fun at Fall Fest

Blustery weather didn't stop folks from coming out Saturday for the seventh annual Fall Fest at Bell Park. Thanks to everyone who helped and everyone who visited the SSCHS booth in the Wilkinson Pavilion. Special thanks to member Charles Efurd for sharing the story of Bell Park's treasure hunter Charlie McNabb.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Join Us At Fall Fest

SSCHS will be at Fall Fest, November 5 at Bell Park in Greenwood. Please stop by our booth while you're enjoying the activities and beautiful fall weather. Look for our big banner. We'll be selling Key Magazines, various books of local interest, Old Jail t-shirts and notecards designed by local artists Glenda Wallace and Martha Efurd.
The star of our show, however, will be miner Charlie McNabb (portrayed by Charles Efurd). Efurd will relate the story of Charlie's search for gold right there in Bell Park. Charlie acquired a map from a Native American showing the location of the treasure, reportedly buried by early tribesmen in order to hide the treasure from the approaching explorer LaSalle. Come out and hear this fascinating true tale as only Charles Efurd can tell it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Buried Treasure was Pure Gold!

Thanks, Greenwood and Sebastian County for the great turnout at this afternoon's Buried Treasure event. Over 80 guests attended the first annual celebration of Greenwood citizens of days gone by. If you missed it, catch the coverage on 40/29 at 5:30 and 10.

We're enouraged by your response and plan to expand the event next year!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Upcoming Events

Reminder: Buried Treasure event at Greenwood Memorial (City) Cemetery, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2 PM, no admission (donations appreciated). A fun event celebrating the history of Greenwood through the lives of her citizens. Please join us for the first annual event!

Regular monthly meeting of the Historical Society Monday, Oct. 17, 7 PM at the Community Room, Farmer's Bank. Cody Faber of the Fort Smith National Historic Site is the guest speaker. All are welcome.Refreshments following meeting.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SSCHS members have had so much fun researching for our October 16 "Buried Treasure" event. We've learned much from family, friends and historical records about the people we're honoring. We hope you can make our first event!

We plan to expand it and make it an annual affair- adding new cemeteries and maybe a candlelight evening event. Won't you join us? Sunday, October 16, 2 PM, Greenwood Memorial (City) Cemetery on Bell Road. No admission, though donations are always appreciated. Any donations received will benefit the Historical Society.

Directions: Traveling east on Highway 10, turn left at City Hall onto Bell Road. Follow Bell Road to the cemetery, which lies on the right. Parking available at the site. For more information, contact the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce at 479-996-6357.

Friday, September 30, 2011

SSCHS Prepares for "Buried Treasure" Event

Historical Society members are busy preparing for their roles as some of Greenwood's most beloved citizens in the first annual "Buried Treasure" event. Doug Kinslow, pictured, will portray Gov. John Sebastian Little. Other citizens who will be memorialized include: Amy Jane Dawson Stewart, Jewell Bell, Charlie McNabb, Coach Miro Spicer, Mary Elizabeth Tatum Little, and Reba Dawson. SSCHS members participating include: Emily and Jim Mitchuson, Sue Edwards, Ken Edwards, Donna and Joel Goldstein, Louise and Vernon Stewart, Sue Lewis, Charles Efurd, Glenda Wallace, and Tom Martin.

SSCHS anticipates that "Buried Treasure" will become an annual event, allowing the lives and contributions of many of the city's citizens to be featured over the years. Plans call for additional cemeteries to be added.

"Buried Treasure" is free. Donation are welcome and any received will benefit the Historical Society. Please join us for an afternoon of fun and remembrance, rain or shine!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

2 PM

Greenwood Memorial (City) Cemetery

Greenwood, AR

Contact the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce for more information.


Monday, September 19, 2011

SSCHS Meeting Tonight

Please join us tonight for our monthly meeting, featuring a presentation by Larry Puckett regarding the Battle of Devil's Backbone Ridge.

7 PM

Community Room, Farmer's Bank


Volunteers are asked to report at 6:15 for safety training and are invited to stay for the meeting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall Fun!

This our our first ever- first annual- "Buried Treasure" event at Greenwood Memorial (City) Cemetery. ~Informative and lots of fun.~ Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We Have "Buried Treasure!"

History can be fun! Join us as we bring the history of Greenwood to life through the celebration of the lives and contributions of some of her most beloved citizens. Citizens featured in this year's event include Miro Spicer (coach), Reba Dawson (storekeeper), Amy Jane Dawson Stewart (postmaster), Elizabeth Jane Tatum Little (mother of Gov. Little), John Sebastian Little (Governor of Arkansas), Jewell Bell (citizen volunteer), and Charlie McNabb (prospector).
Greenwood Memorial Cemetery
Sunday, Oct 16, 2011
2 PM

Rain or shine
Free, donations welcome

Directions: From Highway 10 (Center Street), turn north at City Hall onto Bell Road, Cemetery at corner of Bell Road and Gary Street.
For more information, call 479-996-6357.
Sponsored by South Sebastian County Historical Society.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dusty Treasures in Our Barns

Many dusty treasures lurk in area barns. Last week we went out to see this buck or bull rake at an area farm. This sweep rake was powered by mules and used to collect hay from a windrow and transport it to a haystack or baler. Thank you to the family for giving us an opportunity to see how things were done in the not-so-distant past.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Civil War Soldier's Letter Home

The Old Jail Museum is proud to include among its collection a letter written by W. H. Cross to his son J. W. in 1861. Cross died soon afterwards in the Battle of Shiloh on Sunday, the last day of the fight.

Mr. Cross writes: " God in peace which let me enjoin you as your affectionate father if we (n)ever meet again on earth, do, do try to meet me in Heaven where we will enjoy uninterrupted happiness while eternity's ages shall roll around us and, my Son, if it pleases God to show you the light of His countenance reconciled through Jesus Christ our Lord. Do not forget to instruct your little sisters and brothers in the way of life for the duties of brother, son and father devolve upon your shoulders in my absence and in all human probability I may never return..."

Descendants of Cross include South Sebastian County's Stanfill family. This letter can be found in its entirety at the Museum in the desk reference in the entry room. The desk reference contains many touching Civil War stories of South Sebastian County families.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tom Wing Presents Gift to SSCHS

Tom Wing, UAFS Assistant Professor and Director of Van Buren's Drennen Scott House, presented the SSCHS with the gift of a Civil War canister ball found on Devil's Backbone Ridge where the Confederates were situated. The 12 or 14 pound canister ball would have been fired by the Federals at the Confederates. Twenty-seven canister balls were fired at one time from a cannon, producing the effect of a shotgun, and yielding devastating results. The canister ball will be on display at the Old Jail Museum through the end of October.

Wing is pictured showing the ammunition to SSCHS officers (left to right): Glenda Wallace, vice president, Ruth McConnell, president, and Joicie Gilbreath, recording secretary.

Wing entertained and informed the SSCHS membership with a slideshow and discussion of a book he editted, "A Rough Introduction to This Sunny Land: The Civil War Diary of Private Henry A. Strong, Company K. Twelfth Kansas Infantry."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Professor Tom Wing To Speak Monday

Tom Wing, assistant professor of history and historical interpretation at UAFS and director of the Drennen-Scott House in Van Buren, will be the guest speaker at Monday night's meeting of the South Sebastian County Historical Society. Wing will discuss "A Rough Introduction to This Sunny Land, the Civil War Diary of Private Henry A. Strong, Company K, Twelfth Kansas Infantry."

The meeting will convene at 7 pm at the Community Room of Farmer's Bank in Greenwood. Professor Wing is an entertaining and informative speaker. All are invited. Refreshments will be served following the meeting.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Historic Fort Chaffee

News reports indicate that the historic old hospital and upwards of one hundred other buildings were destroyed in this week's fire at Camp Chaffee. This is a tragic loss for the community. Many residents have fond memories of the Fort. If you'd like to see your story preserved by the Historic Society, please mail it to: Curator, SSCHS, P.O. Box 523, Greenwood, AR 72936. Stories will be preserved in the society's archives and may be published at some future date. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We Heart Our Historic Properties!

A friendly reminder: We are asking our Museum friends, volunteers and visitors to use extreme caution with combustible materials on and around the Museum grounds due to the county's extreme drought. Please refrain from smoking and dispose of cigarette's in a safe manner and place away from the Museum and grounds. Thanks for helping us protect our treasured schoolhouse, barn, cabin and jail!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cool News for a Hot July Day

Thanks to 4MAC's John McKinney the Museum will soon be sporting new signs on the grounds (see picture). Thanks, John!

And who knew that the DAR had a wonderful magazine with a free Patriot lookup database? Check it out!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Escaping the Heat

What's cuter than a tree frog? Answer: Nothing! When watering the ferns early this morning at the Old Jail, we discovered a gray tree frog perched on the jail's cool padlock. He didn't want to leave and had to be encouraged to move along to another spot on the porch's bench.

Are you, too, looking for a place to get out of the heat? While the Ole Barn and 1848 cabin are not air conditioned, the Old Jail is cool and comfortable. Come and explore!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Freedom Fest Draws Attention to Greenwood's Heritage

Greenwood's "Freedom Fest" Independence Day Celebration drew 143 visitors to the Old Jail Museum on July 4 where they explored exhibits concerning the Civil War in South Sebastian County. Visitors hailed from many nearby communities and from cities as far afield as Seattle, Washington and London, England.

SSCHS Vice President Glenda Wallace arranged for Historic Society members to serve as guides aboard an historic green trolley. The trolley transported riders to historic sites about town as the guides provided facts about Greenwood's past. Over 300 riders took advantage of the opportunity to escape the heat and learn a little local history.

Our ties to the "wild west" were not forgotten during the celebration. The Lawbreakers and Peacemakers, an historical reenactment group performing on the town square, related and re-enacted the true tale of a local disagreement that ended in a shootout and two murders. Herschel Parker, songwriter and guitarist and member of the group, entertained the crowd with his songs about the legendary Belle Starr and U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves.

Several of the historic buildings at the Old Jail Museum Complex were closed July 4 because of the extreme heat. Those buildings have re-opened and are once again welcoming visitors during regular operating hours.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Members Tour Historic Drennen-Scott Property

Forty members of the South Sebastian County Historical Society toured Van Buren's historic 1836 Drennen-Scott house last evening. Tom Wing, director and assistant professor at U of A Fort Smith, guided members through the site and detailed the history of John Drennen, the home's original owner, and the structure. Members learned that Drennen was instrumental in the nation's western expansion and entertained friends such as Sam Houston and Albert Pike in the home. The home has been occupied solely by Drennen-Scott family members since its construction. Click here to learn more.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Check Out Civil War Sallie

Civil War Sallie is coming to visit the Old Jail Museum in July. Sallie is the brainchild of Sarah B., a 6th grade student at St. Patricks School in Carlise, Pa. She travels the country visiting Civil War sites and helping children learn about Civil War history and technology. Visit Sallie's site to learn more or catch her blog here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thanks for Voting!

Thanks for casting your vote for the Old Jail! Today's the last day for voting, so you have one last chance to help us rise in the ranks. We are currently at #112 (up from 154)! Vote at

I ran across a wonderful video about the Underground Railroad. If you can spare five minutes, give it a look. You won't be disappointed. And please come see Historian Sue Edwards' Underground Railroad Quilt upstairs at the Old Jail Museum. It will inspire thoughts of the bravery of escaped slaves and the "station masters" who helped them find their way to freedom.

The woman pictured is Harriet Tubman, famous worker on the Underground Railroad who made 13 trips to the South and freed 70 slaves.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Vote for the "Old Jail Museum"

Want to participate in Arkansas's Septaquintaquinquecentennial (Whew! That's a mouthful!) Celebration and support the Old Jail Museum? Please go to their site and cast your vote.

The State is running a poll to identify the Top 10 destinations in Arkansas. Right now we're at #154 and rising! Give us a hand by casting your vote. You can vote once a day through June 8.

Click here to vote in the Arkansas Best Poll.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Civil War Activities Abound in June

June offers many opportunities for those wanting to explore the history of the Civil War in Arkansas. Take a look at the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission's calendar of events. And stop by the Old Jail Museum, if you haven't already, and see our new exhibits, which include a bas relief brass powder flask.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Airing of the Quilts- Fun for All

Blustery weather didn't keep away the quilters and quilt afficianados who attended Saturday's and Sunday's second annual "Airing of the Quilts." Sponsored by the Alpha Delta Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha as a benefit for the South Sebastian Historical Society, the show at the Rock Gym featured approximately 125 contemporary quilts and several vendors. Vintage quilts were displayed at the Old Jail Museum Complex.

At the Museum Complex, entertainment and education were provided by Lori Brown of Sarahkate Fibers (spinning), Ada Sanderson (quilting on a treadle machine), vocalist/ guitarist/ song writer Hershel Parker, and historical re-enactors Lawbreakers and Peacemakers. Also on hand were the Master Gardeners, selling plants.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quilt Show Benefits SSCHS

The Airing of the Quilts, sponsored by Alpha Delta Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha, is back! The show runs Saturday, May 14 (9-5) and Sunday, May 15 (9-4)at three locations in Greenwood, AR. Contemporary quilts will be displayed at the historic Rock Gym and the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church. Vintage quilts may be seen at the Old Jail Museum Complex. Tickets are $5 and available at the Rock Gym and Old Jail. A ticket admits you to all venues. Visitors to the Old Jail Museum Complex will see vintage quilts (including several Civil War era quilts)displayed among Civil War artifacts in the 1898 Old Jail, 1848 Vineyard Log Cabin, Ole Barn and Redwine Pioneer Schoolhouse. There will be a silent auction at the Schoolhouse.

At the Old Jail Museum Complex, a demonstration of quilting using a treadle sewing machine will be provided by Ada Sanderson. Lori Brown, of Sarahkate Fibers, will demonstrate spinning. Vendors at this location will include Master Gardeners, who will be selling plants and herbs, Sarahkate Fibers, who will be selling hand spun and hand dyed yarns, and the South Sebastian County Historical Society, who will sell a variety of Museum products including t-shirts, ornaments, notecards designed by Glenda Wallace and Martha Efurd, and Key Magazines.

Vendors of quilting supplies will be located at the Rock Gym.

Please join us to see these beautiful, handcrafted works of art and support SSCHS.

(Directions to Rock Gym: Entering Greenwood on 10 Spur (Center St.), turn north (left if approaching from Fort Smith area, right if approaching from Booneville area)at the town square onto Main Street. Travel several blocks. You'll see the Rock Gym on the right on the Junior High- High School Campus, just past the Adminstration Building. Directions to Church: From Main Street, turn west on Denver (landmarks on this corner include the historic Harper House and McConnell Funeral Home). Directions to Old Jail Museum Complex: This site is located on the southeast corner of the town square (corner of Main and Center St/ 10 Spur).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Save the Date for Lawbreakers and Peacemakers

A lively historical re-enactment by the Lawbreakers and Peacemakers will be woven into the Airing of the Quilts show, Saturday, May 14, at 2 PM in front of the Old Jail. Everyone is invited to attend. The performance is free.

While tickets are not required to view the re-enactment, they are required for visitors who also want to view the quilts. They are $5 and are available at the Rock Gym and Old Jail May 14 (9-5) and 15 (9-4). A ticket admits visitors to the quilt show at the Rock Gym, Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church and
Old Jail Museum Complex. Proceeds from the quilt show benefit the South Sebastian County Historical Society.

Come on out and see these tough hombres take on Greenwood history.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Airing of the Quilts Featured in Blog

We're so excited! Airing of the Quilts made Quiltflap! It's our annual fundraiser. We hope you'll plan on joining us!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finding Surprises- Part II

We found more than Easter eggs last Sunday at the Old Jail Museum Complex. A large ash tree found its way onto the roof of the barn. Tremendous rainfall and high winds seem to have been the cause. Today, workers are busy removing the tree and will begin making the necessary repairs. We request no visitors to that area, please, as this work proceeds.

We expect everything to be back to normal for our May 5 opening.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Finding Surprises

The preschoolers from First Baptist Church were happy to see the sun come out today so they could enjoy their Easter egg hunt in the grass around the Vineyard Log Cabin. Where's a camera when you need one?!

Colorful eggs weren't the only surprise. Our Key Magazines have finally been received from the printer (well, the first 150). Some are being hand delivered; others were mailed today. We're awaiting delivery of the remaining issues and hope to have them in your hands soon.

If you'd like to purchase this (or earlier) issues of the Key , please stop by the Old Jail Museum during regular hours of operation. Issues through 2005 are $5.00. Issues 2006-Present are $10. We're open May 5- October 31, 11 AM- 3 PM, Thursday- Saturday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Display Your Treasured Quilt

Residents have a chance to display their heirloom quilts or latest quilted creations at the upcoming Airing of the Quilts, May 14 and 15.

Owners of new quilts must have sleeve attached for ease of hanging. For more information call Kay Voss 479-883-0254 or Joyce Cormack 479-996-4474.

If you want to display an heirloom quilt, it is not necessary to attach a sleeve. Special arrangements will be made to display heirloom quilts in the historic district. We will accept heirloom quilts at the Old Jail Museum May 13. They may be picked up at 4 PM May 15. Special arrangements can be made if these times don't work for you. Please contact or Sue Edwards at 479-883-6412 for more information. The deadline to register heirloom quilts is May 10.
Right click on the registration form to save it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Special Showing Saturday

Photo courtesy

Special showing today 10-3 for the car show crowd. Come on down!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Season, New Look

Expect to see lots of changes at the Museum this season. All the exhibits are new. Visitors are greeted by a new sign. The sign was created by Scott Winford of Greenwood. Scott is the artisan who creates the handsome chainsaw sculptures you see around town. His majestic eagle graced the town square. Many thanks to Scott for donating his time and talents to the creation of our new sign!