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A Review of Frontier Days at Historic Washington
A great time was had by all who came out to Frontier Days for Homeschools on Friday, February 14, 2014. While enjoying old favorites, the students got to experience some new aspects of history. Weaving is a an old favorite, but this time around Mekicia Henry had bison wool to spin and teach about how it can be used in weaving. It is an extremely soft product. She had several types of wool for visitors to compare and many were heard to comment on what they learned from this.
Another new program by Mrs. Vicky highlighted the travels of the Carrigan family from North Carolina to Washington, Arkansas in the early 1850s. The Carrigans left journals telling of their trip and the sites they saw along the way.
How archeology helps us learn more about the past residents and early pioneers was the theme of the program "Do You Gopher Archeology." Since we cannot excavate inside a State Park, we turned to the little critter that does, the gopher, and excavated his mounds for the artifacts that he dislodges and pushes to the surface with his tunneling. Quite a variety of items were found and these will be shared with the station archeologist for this region of Arkansas.

The Frontier Encampment was full of Early Arkansas Reenactors who set up and demonstrated 1840 travel camp life. Mr. Leon Moore was able to take a few pictures of those who were not too camera shy and he shared them with us.
You can see them by following this link -


We hope everyone will make plans to attend the fall Frontier Days where we will endeaver to learn a little more about detail in our programs.

A New Arkansas Historic Preservation Coloring Book Available for Downloading


Photo from Then There Was Arkansas

46th Annual Jonquil Festival  
March 14th, 15th and 16th 2014

Create memories and celebrate a tradition at Historic Washington State Park. This three-day festival heralds the arrival of spring in Southwest Arkansas! Thousands of jonquils welcome craftspeople, entertainers, and visitors to the town of Historic Washington. Unique crafts and delicious foods are just part of the attractions from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, then again from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday. Tours of the park, historic homes, and museums are available at regular price.  
Date: March 14 - March 16, 2014
Time: 9 am - 5 pm
Admission: festival free, $5 parking, tours at regular price
Phone: (870) 983-2684
Browse the site to learn more about the historic Arkansas landmarks and activities at Historic Washington State Park.

Williams' Tavern Specials

Pork Chop,  Creamed Potatoes & Green Beans                                             $6.99          
Chicken and Dumplings with choice of two sides                                           $6.99         
Farm Raised Catfish with choice of two sides                                                $7.99        
Meatloaf, Creamed Potatoes &  Black-eyed Peas                                            $6.99
Smoked Sausage Links, Creamed Potatoes& Pinto Beans                            $6.99                         
Or choose your favorites from our Sunday Buffet                                              $10.99

150 Years Ago in Washington, Arkansas
Learn about mail privacy as the American Civil War continues and a little about the local dentist's announcement in the newspaper.

Podcast link for February 17, 1864 issue of the Washington Telegraph newspaper.

Here are a few interesting historical facts to ponder about 19th century dentistry:
 - French dentists were the first to mix mercury with various other metals and use the mixture as a plug for cavities in teeth in the early 19th century.
 - Dental floss is an ancient invention and researchers have found dental floss and toothpick grooves in the teeth of prehistoric humans. - In 1848 Waldo Hanchett patented the dental chair.
 - On January 26, 1875, George Green patented the first electric dental drill.
WASHINGTON [ARK.] TELEGRAPH, February 24, 1864
Notice.  For sale--at the government wood shop, twelve superior looms.  They will be exchanged for cloth--cloth and looms valued at old prices. J. D. Thomas, Major & Manuf'g. Q.M.D.A. Washington, Ark. Feb. 14 1864.

Receipt and Recipe
Old Sturbridge Village has costumed historians baking chocolate cake over the hearth, much like Historic Washington State Park does. This was often done in a tin oven. Here is the “receipt” that Old Sturbridge Village shared for you to try at home adapted from Mary Randolph’s “The Virginia Housewife.”

Chocolate Cake

Original Receipt:
"Put half a pound of nice brown sugar into a quart of flour, sift it, and make it into a paste, with four ounces of butter melted in as much milk as will wet it; knead it till light, roll it tolerably thin, cut it in strips an inch wide, and just long enough to lay in a plate; bake them on a griddle, put them in the plate in rows to checker each other, and serve them to eat with chocolate."

Modern Method:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
4 ounces (one stick) of butter, melted
3/4 cup of milk (more may be needed if it is too dry)
Mix should feel like sugar cookie dough or pie dough, moist but not sticky.
Preheat Oven to 375° F
Roll it out thinly and cut into 6-8 inch strips, an inch wide.
Place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 7-10 minutes (until golden brown)

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© Copyright Historic Washington State Park. All Rights Reserved.
P.O. Box 129, Washington, AR 71862 | Phone: (870) 983-2684 | Fax: (870) 983-2736
Email: historicwashington@arkansas.com