Parkin Archeological State Park, Oct. 2012 (or Happy Father’s Day 2013!)

I was talking with a friend the other day about how I have several blog posts I’ve been meaning to write, and realized that I’d better do it soon, before best intentions become forgotten ones.  The intent of my blog, after all, is to keep a record of camping and fun experiences with Joe, for Joe.  So for Father’s Day this year, I’m picking up where we left off –father, son, and dog- in Arkansas.

On the drive back from our trip to Village Creek State Park, Joe, Nitro, and I stopped by Parkin Archaeological State Park.  Parkin is located in northeast Arkansas, along the St. Francis River.  While they don’t have camping  there, they do have an informative museum and a short walking trail.

The park is located on what was once Sawdust Hill, a 20th century African-American community of timber and sawmill workers. As early as 1000 AD, it was a bustling Mississippian Native American village named Casqui, according to some archaeologists.  Proximity to the river made this space a valuable piece of land, once upon a time.  Today the Parkin site is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Along the walking trail we saw a giant Native American platform mound and read about how Hernando DeSoto and his crew (likely) stopped here to spread the Gospels in the 1540s.  The Native Americans are presumed to have left the site by the 1550s.

We also looked at the old Sawdust Hill school house, built around 1910.  Having been a school, a home, and a storage facility over the years, the schoolhouse was almost demolished before its original use was discovered several years ago.  It has since been restored, providing park visitors with a glimpse of life in the segregated South in the 1900s.

Following our brief “hike”, we toured the museum and looked at old Native American artifacts.  We also watched a film about the history of the region and Joe got to dress up like a “Keester Door” and shoot a blow-dart gun.  After buying a few souvenirs and a drink for the road, and with work and school calling, the three amigos headed home.

See you on the trail..

Parkin Archeological State Park - Village Trail

Parkin Archeological State Park – Village Trail

On the boardwalk...

On the boardwalk…

Spreading the word...

A 1500′s sermon on the mound?  Archeologists think so…

600 Years ago...

What would life be like?  In the year 1412.  In the year 14-twelve….

Sawdust Hill Community School

Sawdust Hill Community School

Touring the museum...

Touring the museum…

Hey everybody, I'm a "Keester Door"...

Hey everybody, I’m a “Keester Door”…

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