ARIZARD-L Archives

Archiver > ARIZARD > 2005-07 > 1122401078

From: "Betty Brunson" <>
Subject: Powhatan Historic Records Update
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 13:09:35 -0700

> Re: Powhatan Historic Records Update
> Date: June 18, 2005 10:27PM
> Thursday night's public meeting was a great success. About 35 local &
> national citizens, 5 State Parks Staff, the ASU archivist, and a
> reporter met and held open frank and revealing
> discussions about the fate of the priceless historic records recently
> evicted from the
> Powhatan Courthouse after many years. Citizens voiced their concerns
> and the regional
> state parks official, Marcel Hanzlec from Wynne, gave the parks side.
> He says the Parks
> Department leaders are now willing to build a "state of the art vault
> and research facility"
> on the Powhatan Park grounds. They still do not want the records back
> in the vaults which
> have protected them these past 130 or so years though. They want to use
> the former research
> room in the Courthouse for a gift shop, visitor center, and offices for
> the local Park
> Superintendent and her crew.
> The catch is it will take months, or years, to get funding and a plan
> lined up and still
> longer to actually build the research facility so the records will
> probably have to remain
> in the ASU library for the next 2 or 3 years or more.
> LCHS still needs public support. We need folks to send letters to the
> Governor asking why
> the state spent 1.2 million dollars on the renovation and can't find
> time, or space, or
> money to protect the records and honor their long standing Memorandum
> of Agreement held
> with the LCHS.
> We will have to hold their feet to the fire. That is best done with a
> top down approach.
> Letters and phone calls to the Governor, CC"d to the Parks Director,
> State Historian and
> the local Super get sent to regional legislators and they go to the
> Parks Director for answers.
> The GOvernor's office then sends "Letters of Concern" to his Department
> Directors asking them
> to make the problem go away.
> Letters to Mr Mike Beebe and Lt. Gov Win Rockefeller will help. Now
> that they are running for
> Governor they will want to win votes in NE Ark by helping out on a
> topic like preserving our
> culture and records of our past.
> Petetions work well. We'll need to get one started and get as many of
> the regions folks to
> sign it as possible.
> Keep the pressure on folks.
> Some of these State Officals are wanting to be re-elected to office and
> one is even wanting to
> become Governer. Let them know The Genealogy Communtity doesn't liked
> to be walked on like this.
> To email Attoney General Mike Beebe, go to:
> The city of Powhatan is in Lawrence County which is in the First
> Congressional
> District of Arkansas. You should contact Representative Marion Berry's
> office in
> Jonesboro, AR at 800-866-2701 or 870-972-4605.
> For an update on this matter, go to Bill COUCH's webpage at:
> At the heart of this controversy is not only the continued protection
> of these valuable records but the shabby treatment in which the park
> service has treated the Lawrence County Historical Society. This
> Society has been the reason why these priceless documents have been so
> well preserved over the past 130 years. Because of pressure by
> genealogists all over the country, the officials have changed their
> plans from 'sticking' the documents in an old unprotected church
> building to saying they will BUILD a building with vaults [although it
> will takes years for this to be completed] and hiring personnel. The
> Historical Society already had personnel in place who had done this for
> FREE for many many years. Evelyn Flippo has been a godsend to many
> researchers with her knowledge and helpfulness. This researcher feels
> for the Arkansas citizens. What they had for FREE with an able facility
> and personnel for the records, now will cost. It will take all of us
> to continue the pressure upon the government officials. I urge all
> genealogists who find their ancestors in Missouri and Arkansas, to get
> on board and help any way they can to support the Lawrence County
> Society in their fight to keep these records in Lawrence County.
> Email, call, or write the officials, DO SOMETHING. Let's make sure that
> these officials will take this as seriously as we do.
> Lanita Sconce Smith
> DCGS President
> Genealogists never die, they just loose their roots

This thread: