Gallivanting around the Grand Prairie

Old abandoned farm home

This old farm home near Pettus, Arkansas, sits on the ragged edge of  where the eastern Delta melts into the Grand Prairie of Arkansas. It is representative of early twentieth century farm homes. Be sure and see our Corndancer Photo of the Week story for more information on this old house.

Old abandoned farm house

Click on the old house to see more pictures of the house and the place where it sits.

The Delta has a proper name, which is the “Mississippi Alluvial Plain,” which also explains why in polite conversation the region is called “Th’ Delta.” Just imagine explaining how the Blues originated in “The Mississippi Alluvial Plain”— in common Delta vernacular “that dawg won’t hunt.”

We say all this to introduce you to a sub region of the Delta, to wit: The Grand Prairie. The area is roughly comprised of three Arkansas Counties, inland from the Mississippi River, between the White and Arkansas Rivers. Denizens of nearby areas will probably claim to live on Grand Prairie sod. That said, we understand that divine geographical distribution does not respect political boundaries. Or anything else political for that matter.

Whereas the eastern Delta is mostly characterized by permeable sandy loam, Grand Prairie soils for the most part are thicker with a tad of clay mixed in which makes the area ideal for crops that require flooding, such as rice. It also works really well for getting pickups, rice trailers, big trucks, tractors, and combines stuck.

The folks who live in the Grand Prairie will tell you in a heartbeat that’s where they live, much like their brethren to the east who similarly let you know they live in the Delta. People who value their reputations and bodily integrity do not intimate the awful truth, so I have fears for baring the issue. You will know that I survived if you get a Weekly Grist next week. For this epistle, we are exploring the Grand Prairie.

While nosing around the Grand Prairie, I did a map recon that revealed a promising road. I followed the road and found the old house you see above. Though the house was still standing tall, missing roof sections will soon take care of that. Two outbuildings that were apparently built when the house was built are also still standing. Both of these structures have the same vertical construction. See more pictures of the old house and out buildings on the Photo of  the Week  page at Corndancer dot com.

A fresh breeze kept what's left of the "front room" window curtain flapping.

A fresh breeze kept what’s left of the “front room” window curtain flapping.

The old curtains have a ghostly look in this video. Can you spot the graphic trick I played on you?

Old dilapidated farm buildign

Before we saw the cool old house, we saw this structure which would be described in sales literature as a quaint fixer-upper in a peaceful rural environment. But wait, there’s more.

junk tractor

If you act now on the previously offered fixer upper, we will throw in this project tractor. Perfect for the DIY aficionado. Meadow muffins not included.

trees in water at Humnoke Arkanasa

This is one of my “love-to-look-at-it places. U.S. Highway 165 splits this grove of trees, always in water, just west of greater Humnoke, Arkansas. Pronounced “hamah-noke” by some good ol’ boys (and girls for that matter).

Lutheran Cemetery near Slovak AR

Our last stop of the day was Slovak, Arkansas which has an interesting history. Just outside the community is this Lutheran Cemetery. There is a Catholic cemetery in the confines of the community.

Sunset at Slovak Arkansa

The sunset caught up with us as we were putting Slovak in our rear view mirrors. The Grand Prairie Water Association storage tank added drama. It was a good day.

Everything you saw today was not much more than an hour from the Chez Dempsey. I strongly suspect that in many other environments, perhaps yours, there are other close-by opportunities which have great interest but have yet to garner recognition by the local tourist promotion people. That means that crowd control will not be a problem. It’s just a matter of discovery.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind



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