Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Value of Volunteerism

“I have seen Americans making great and sincere sacrifices for the key common good and a hundred times I have noticed that, when needs be, they almost always gave each other faithful support.”
—Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

In America's early history, helping each other was necessary for survival. Colonists helped each other gather and preserve crops, build and maintain structures and develop roads for transport. We can recall examples from our own counties recent rural past when neighbor helped neighbor to bring in the crops, raise a barn, dig a well, replace a burned out homestead, dig a stump, shear sheep, string a fence or work cattle. Women helped each other can the season's harvest and make soap. Perhaps the most familiar example of women helping women was the quilting bee. 

Volunteerism continues today. We see it in political campaigns, blood drives, Boy and Girl Scout leadership, church activities and in efforts to promote and preserve local history. Today we celebrate some of our South Sebastian County Historical Society volunteers. They enable us to keep our museum doors open, assist us in repair and maintenance, loan display materials, maintain our grounds, present educational programs, prepare refreshments, decorate our historic buildings for holidays and special events and so much more. 

When you see an SSCHS volunteer, please take a minute to express your thanks! 

We picture just a few of the many, many volunteers who share their gifts with us throughout the year. We thank you all.

Our officers, who do double duty as re-enactors

Our vice president, presenters and past president
Those who assist with special projects

Those who prepare our Christmas banquet

Those who brave the cold weather to present exciting activities for our community's children
Those who beautify our grounds
Those who make history come alive

Those who are willing to respond to the call when assistance is needed, no matter what form it takes
Those who share their special talents
Those who brave the Fourth of July heat to man the history trolley
The volunteer coordinator whose job is never-ending

The men who erect the racks for our annual quilt show

The sorority who sponsors our annual fund raiser, "The Airing of the Quilts"
Those with dedication and persistence and the will to succeed

Our founding families

The many musicians who volunteer their talents

Those who work behind the scenes to make the quilt show a success

Those who are always willing to go the extra mile
Those who are there, rain or shine

Those who inspire us

Those who remind us of our values and heritage
Those who bring us joy

Monday, October 5, 2015

Stitching Together a Story of the Civil War

The Whittington family, early settlers of Missouri
Typical Civil War era dress styles worn by four generations of American women

We are busy with last minute preparations for our Fifth Annual Buried Treasure event, hosted this year at Greenwood's Mt. Harmony Cemetery October 11 at 2 PM. Our historical re-enactors make a big commitment when they sign on for this event. They research the individual they'll portray, find props and costumes and immerse themselves in the history of the period in which their character lived. Many go a step further and create their own authentic costumes.
Such is the case with our Barbara Jacobson. Barbara joins us from a city in a neighboring county. She brings with her extensive experience as a Civil War re-enactor and meticulous attention to detail. Barbara, an accomplished seamstress, is sewing her own authentic 1850s costume. She will be portraying Ann Marie Hannah Morris, a Civil War era wife, mother and sister, buried in the cemetery. She'll share the touching and inspiring story of her life on a nearby farm and the tragic loss of several family members to the atrocities of the war.

Ann Marie Hannah Morris

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dressed to Impress

Re-Enactor Mike Gibbs with Park Ranger Cody Faber.

 Some people shop at the mall. But, when you're looking for authentic Civil War wear it pays to shop with a national park ranger like Fort Smith's Cody Faber. Cody assisted historical re-enactors for the South Sebastian County Historical Society's Buried Treasure Graveside Tales choose appropriate costumes and gear for their October 11, 2015 event.

Bugler Andrew Morgan tries on a uniform. Perfect fit!
Andrew will play Taps at the graveside of Civil War veteran Andrew Hannah. Buried Treasure is celebrating its fifth annual production, this year at Greenwood's Mt. Harmony Cemetery, SUnday, October 11, 2 PM. From Fort Smith, from Highway 71 South, exit left (east) at Greenwood's 10 Spur. Follow 10 (Center Street) through Greenwood. Turn right (south) at the traffic light at Mt. Harmony Road. Follow Mt. Harmony Road 3.2 miles to Mt Harmony Baptist Church and Cemetery. Watch for the black and white signs. For more information, call the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce at 479-996-6357.
In the event of rain, Buried Treasure will be moved into the adjacent Mt. Harmony Baptist Church.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

From the Pulpit, an Fiery Orator

The Reverend Oscar Stallings was called to preach. He had a gift for oratory, great conviction and was instrumental in bringing throngs of people to Christ. His passion and contributions will be remembered and celebrated at the upcoming Buried Treasure Graveside Tales at Greenwood's Mount Harmony Cemetery. He will be portrayed by his nephew Les Oliver.

As a young man, Oscar took an interest in neighbor Henry Norwood, a former slave, newly emancipated and looking to make a new life in a new community. As an adult, Oscar would chronicle Henry's life in Greenwood, writing "The Remarkable Norwood Family." Henry Norwood will also be celebrated at this year's event, along with a number of Civil War era residents.

In addition to Oliver, costumed historical re-enactors include: Karen Stallings Winters, Mike Gibbs, Barbara Jacobson, Reginald Moore and Greenwood Mayor Doug Kinslow. Bugler Andrew Morgan will play "Taps."

Buried Treasure Graveside Tales
Mt. Harmony Cemetery, Greenwood, AR
Sunday, October 11
2 PM
No admission fee, though donations are appreciated
In the event of rain, this event will move into the adjacent Mt. Harmony Baptist Church.

Directions: From Fort Smith, exit 71 South at Greenwood Spur 10. Travel west on 10 Spur (Center Street) to last traffic light at Mt. Harmony Road. Turn right. Travel 3.2 miles to Mt. Harmony Cemetery. (Church on the right.) Watch for signs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Woes of War, a Graveside Tale

A Memphis hotel...A cowbell...A teen who saw the world of 1862 through young eyes... Participants in the October 11 "Buried Treasure" Graveside Tales will see how these things converge to tell a family tale of the Civil War in Greenwood.
The dire circumstances of life in Civil War Sebastian County, Arkansas are not common knowledge to the average citizen. Those who hear the tale of Pvt. Andrew Hannah, CSA, will leave with an appreciation for the sacrifices of soldiers and families in this great conflict.
For more information, contact the Greenwood, AR Chamber of Commerce at 479-996-6357.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Heroes Among Us

What was once just a photo of American soldiers at the front during the Battle of the Bulge has acquired new meaning. Today, after meeting with the son of a survivor, it is much more. When we attach names and faces and families to these images, they come to life.  We see a nineteen year old Army scout, full of bravery and bravado-- and more than a little fear-- gathering reconnaissance. We see a tank commander, with faith in his mission, who will be among the 89,000 casualties of this battle. We begin to understand what uncommon valor ordinary men possess and we are thankful.

Please join us as we celebrate  the life of Clarence Lafleur, local survivor of the Battle of the Bulge who exhibited courage and character, not just in the heat of battle, but in the activities of everyday life, who enriched our community and the family of man by his thoughts and deeds.

This gentleman will be among those honored through costumed portrayals at graveside. Told with warmth and humor, the stories of those interred at and associated with this cemetery will inspire and entertain you.

Fifth Annual Buried Treasure
Sunday, Oct 11
2 PM
Mount Harmony Cemetery, Greenwood
(Highway 71, Exit 10 Spur at Greenwood, Right turn at the light onto Mount Harmony Road. Follow road 3.2 miles to Mt. Harmony Baptist Church and Cemetery.) Rain or shine. No admission fee. Donations welcome.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Meet Early Residents of Greenwood at Historical Society’s Fifth Annual Event

Greenwood is a small town full of big personalities and it seems that has always been the case. The South Sebastian County Historical Society’s annual Buried Treasure event is a fascinating and fun look at the rich history of Greenwood. 

Greenwood Mayor Doug Kinslow, shown here at the 2012 event, will honor WWII scout and Bronze Star recipient Clarence LaFleur.
The fifth annual Buried Treasure Graveside Tales will be held Sunday, October 11 at 2 PM, rain or shine, at the historic Civil War era Mt. Harmony Cemetery, southeast of the city on Mt. Harmony Road.  Area re-enactors in period costume will portray historical personalities, according to organizer Donna Goldstein.  Through their characterizations, visitors will develop an appreciation for their significant contributions and learn a little history in an entertaining way.

Heather Burns portrays her grandmother at the 2013 event.

Those honored at this year’s event include Civil War patriot Andrew Hannah, who aided the Confederate cause (portrayed by Mike Gibbs), early settler Mary Matilda Fields McKinney (portrayed by great granddaughter Sherrell Stallings Buchanan), Clarence LaFleur, WWII scout and Bronze Star recipient (memorialized by Greenwood Mayor Doug Kinslow), and Anne Marie Hannah Morris, a mother who lost a son, son-in-law and husband during the Civil War (portrayed by Barbara Jacobson). Henry Norwood (pictured, below), a former slave who became a community leader, is interred south of the cemetery and is portrayed by Reginald Moore. Reggie is a familiar re-enactor to fans of Fort Smith’s Tales of the Crypt. Reverend Oscar Stallings, pastor, evangelist and biographer of Henry Norwood, will be portrayed by his great nephew Les Oliver. Though not interred there, Rev. Stallings grew up within a stone’s throw of the cemetery and has many familial connections there. This year’s event will also feature a brief history of the historic cemetery presented by Karen Stallings Winters and will include such special activities as the performance of an historic spiritual by Reggie Moore and the playing of “Taps” by Andrew Morgan.  Local historians will be on site to answer questions and visit with guests.

 “The portrayals are done with warmth and humor,” says Goldstein, “and the content is appropriate for all ages.”   The event is free, though the Historical Society welcomes donations. Proceeds will go to the South Sebastian County Historical Society’s fund for restoration of abandoned area cemeteries. There will be some seating graveside for those who require it.
For more information, call the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce: 479-996-6357.
Directions from Fort Smith: 71 South, exit 10 Spur east at Greenwood, travel east to light at Mt. Harmony Road, turn right (south), travel 3.2 miles. Turn right at Mt. Harmony Baptist Church. From Booneville: Highway 10 to Greenwood, turn left at Mt. Harmony Road. Travel 3.2 miles to Mt. Harmony Baptist Church.