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The State Parks of Arkansas - The Natural State: E-Newsletter

"Just a Walk in the Park" Newsletter

"We had a great time at "Old" Washington yesterday---again! Thank you to all who work at the Park and volunteer their time to make those days so special. We love to come up there!" - Jennifer

What was she talking about? She was referring to the fun filled educational day, she and her daughters had at Historic Washington's Frontier Day for Homeschools. We have a few pictures for you to look at in this online album. School groups from as far away as Malvern came to try their hand at historic games, carding wool, splitting rails, shaving wood, and even a spelling bee in the 19th century classroom. Watch for future events geared for home and public schools.

Grandmother meets Granddaughter 150 Years later

While all of this was going on in the Park, Park Historian, Leita Spears was in Van Buren, Arkansas at the Drennen-Scott Historic Site assisting with living history during their Civil War event on Saturday, October 6th. She portrayed the Crawford County Civil War experience of Mrs. Elizabeth Shibley. After presenting as Mrs. Shibley, the mother of two sons fighting in the war, Spears learned that a great great granddaughter of the real life Mrs. Shibley was in the audience. What a great time to meet and visit with your "future granddaughter."

Infantry and artillery demonstrations, as well as, tours of the historic site filled out the happenings for the cold and rainy event. Stop in at our online album to see how all had a great time despite the sleet that dropped in a time or two.

Welcome Naomi!

If you will remember, Dear Readers, last week I promised you a picture of the newest member of our park family. Here is Park Curator, Josh Williams meeting his new daughter. All wish to express their congratulations to Josh and Jaimie on the new addition to the family and hope Gigi (pet dog) adjusts to not being the only baby around now.

Heirloom Cushaw

Gary Martin, our gardener, took his newest prize heritage vegetable, Cushaw Squash from the Royston Log Cabin Garden, to the restaurant yesterday, as well as turnip and mustard greens freshly picked. Linda at the restaurant has made pies from the Cushaw and it, as well as the fresh greens, were offered for the day's lunch. (More on the Cushaw Pie below)


Not to be out done on delicious offerings for her patrons, Dusty was serving up the Dutch Oven Cobbler made bright and early that morning. I am thinking I may skip lunch altogether and head over there just for dessert!

SPECIAL REQUEST - Any past participants of Washington After Dark. Please share your photographs by emailing to It will be very much appreciated.


"The country is glorious, that's a fact - glorious in its green robes, its fields of grain, its cool, refreshing breezes, and more than this, it is glorious in the way of all sorts of good living. If you have ever had a tooth pulled or suffered with the headache, you have felt about the time the pain subsided something of the relief which a person from town experiences on visiting the country, after being cooped up in a close room for several months. You snuff up the healthful breeze, and your blood courses more freely through your veins, your spirits rise, and you catch the inspiration of the delightful scenery around you. Innumerable birds are pouring forth their artless melody, the woodpecker rolls out its shrill notes, and fills up the intervals of his song by rapid tappings on "the hollow beech tree," and now and then a hare leaps from beneath your feet, or an old buck bounds away in all the majesty of native freedom. And then, when you come to the eating part of the country's glory - if you have mouths, prepare to smack them now. In the first place what think you of a huge watermelon, right out of an ice-cold spring of a hot July day? Icecreams [sic] and julip [sic] hailstorms ain't a priming to it. - Then come aromatic muskmelons which melt in your mouth, like butter, and cause you to eat till the pigs turn away, surfeited, from the rinds which you throw them. - But how shall we describe the regular table fare which we sometimes find in the country. What shall we say of the hot rolls, the delightful coffee, the cool milk, the delicious butter , the old ham, the vegetables, the chickens, the eggs - and above all, the inimitable cooking? We are not sketching from fancy, our remarks, unlike some awful stories which we have read, are not only founded on fact, but literally delineate facts, for we have just got back from the country, and had to let off this extra gas before we could lower ourself [sic] down to our ordinary duties.
Source: "Ruralising" WT, July 20, 1842.

After reading this, the search was on to find out what a "Julip Hailstorm" was. And I found it!

"Excerpt from John H. B. Latrobe and His Times, 1803-1891, by John Edward Semmes, Published by The Norman, Remington co., 1917, states that the 1832 journal of well-known Baltimore lawyer John H. B. Latrobe (1803-1891) wrote:

“I saw here for the first time a hailstorm, that is to say, a mint julep made with a hailstorm around it. The drink is manufactured pretty much as usual and well led with a quantity of ice chopped in small pieces, which is then put in the shape of a fillet around the outside of the tumbler where it adheres like a ring of rock candy and forms an external icy application to your lower lip as you drink it, while the ice within the glass presses against your upper lip. It is nectar, they say, in this part of the country.” "

[Source: Julip info]

This week we had delicious Cushaw (Kuh Shaw) Pie at Williams' Tavern Restaurant made from Cushaw Squash grown in Historic Washington's Heritage Garden. If you came for the Heritage Gardening workshop, you may have seen them.

Cushaw Pie

2 cups prepared cushaw squash puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces evaporated milk
Single pie crust

Combine cushaw squash puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla then beat lightly with a whisk. Stir in evaporated milk. Mix well. Pour into a pastry-lined pie plate. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 375-degrees for 50-60 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Chill before serving.
Cookbook Download for FREE

Check out this week's specials at Williams' Tavern Restaurant!

The Art of Candle Making

October 12 - 14

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Dutch Oven Cooking 2--

Beyond the Basics

October 13

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Harness and Driving Workshop

October 13

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Art of Candle Making

October 19 - 21

  9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Washington After Dark

October 20

6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Pack a Picnic - History Hike

October 20

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

The Art of Candle Making

October 26 - 28

  9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Washington After Dark

October 27

6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Available -  volunteer opportunities! Call Vicky at 870-983-2558 or email.

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  Historic Washington State Park
P.O. Box 98
Washington, AR 71862

Phone: (870) 983-2684
Fax: (870) 983-2736

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