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

In The News

150 Years Ago - January 1863

1863 January 14-- "Just as we go to press, we learn...that the Federal fleet had taken Arkansas Post, and our army was retreating up the [Arkansas] river."
Source: Washington Telegraph, January 14, 1863.

The Confederate Army was in retreat. This could not have been happy news for the town of Washington to begin the year of 1863. By the end of that same year, Washington would be affected in a big way by the continued advancement of the Federal troops. The 1836 Courthouse would become the Arkansas' State Confederate Capitol building as the state government fled Little Rock as the armies got too close.

Read all about Arkansas Post in January 1863 at

Read the letters home from Arkansas Post


Here Comes The Judge!

Judge Conway (AKA Billy Nations) has a weighty matter to preside over in the January 12, 2013 Trial By Jury. The life or death ruling in the matter of Arkansas v. Henry Skaggs, on trial for the murder of his best friend, will be the first in the young county's history. Step back into Washington 1844 by participating in this historical drama, right after a tasty dinner at Williams' Tavern. Call 870-983-2684 for more information and to reserve your place.


Plan Ahead for the 45th Annual Jonquil Festival

March 15 - 17, 2013 will see the park transformed with Arts, Crafts, and a country fair atmosphere. We will keep you updated on the arrival of the Jonquils and Daffodils, as they do not always follow the calendar even though our gardener encourages them to.

Special Request- Please help us build our files by sharing your photographs and memories of past Jonquil Festivals. We want to record recent history and your part in it. Just email with Jonquil Memories.

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Offers Grants

To assist in the expenses of preserving a wide variety of significant historic places in our state, AHPP provides grants and other assistance to interested parties. Please look at what they offer and contact them if you have a project that might fit under their guidelines. They offer workshops regularly throughout the year to assist you, free of charge.


Save Our Memories

This year why not make a Memory Jar. It is easy inexpensive and a great way to save special memories and then review and relive then at the end of the year. All you need is a jar or jug of some sort. Some people use large Mason jars or pickle jars. Decorate a label, such as, 2013 Memory Jar."

We had one here at Historic Washington for 2012 and I thought it would be fun to share a few highlights from it.

* Naked Man! - This was one of the best notes and was a reaction to a very scantily clad person (not really naked) who was quickly assessed and cared for.
* Daniel bought a (fake) snake at Wal-Mart to scare Brandon and Terry - Can you tell that some people are very afraid of snakes and some people here think it is fun to play tricks on them?
* Terry didn't know what a platypus was. She thought it was a cartoon. - I think the people in ADMIN are picking on Terry. (Perry Platypus is real, Terry)
* Kayla and I (Shelia) just had a ghost in the elevator. -
This is how we get stories for Washington after Dark.
* Civil War Goody Bags??? No one knows. - People kept calling early in the year asking for these and we still do not know what they were or why anyone thought we had them.
* Chicken Poo Day - Let's just say there are better smelling fertilizers.

Okay, enough of our year...make your own memory jar for 2013 and be sure to plan a time to bring out the notes to share with your family or organization at the end of the year.

Williams' Tavern Restaurant is serving Daily Specials!

Wednesday-9th Stuffed Bell Peppers  w/Mixed Vegetables &  Pintos-- $6.99

Thursday-10th  Chicken & Dumplings w/choice of two sides—$6.99

Friday-11th      Farm Raised Catfish w/choice of two sides —$7.99

Saturday-12th  Meatloaf w/ Creamed Potatoes & Buttered  Carrots $6.99

Sunday-13th    Ranch Chicken w/Creamed Potatoes & Green Beans $6.99    

Recipe and Receipt

 It is time for Dutch Oven cooking again in Historic Washington. If you are coming to the workshop you will gain skills that you will be anxious to put to use and we can help you do just that. Here is a great sounding recipe for you to try and the link to many others. If you aren't signed up for January 19th's workshop, too is full. Call now and get on the list for February!

Dutch Oven Apple Pie

8 cups baking apples, thin, sliced and peeled 1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons lime juice 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup flour pastry dough for double crust pie
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cups pecans, chopped
 In a large bowl, toss apples with lime juice.
Combine dry ingredients; add to apples and toss lightly.
 Place bottom crust which is 2 inches larger than the 12 inch dutch oven, in the dutch; press firmly against the side of dutch. Add the apple mixture and spread evenly over the botton of the dutch. Add 2 tablespoons butter in pieces over the top of apples.
 Place the top crust which is the same size as the lid of the dutch oven on top of apples, fits nicely over and around the edges so the bottom crust on the edge of dutch folds down over the top crust and seal with fingers.
 Cut steam vents.
Bake with 10 briquettes on the bottom and 15 on top for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Mix topping in a 8 inch dutch with 5-6 briquettes on the bottom and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes and add pecans. Pour over top of pie the last 10 minutes of cooking and cook until the topping bubbles. Remove from heat and cool; serve slightly warm.

If cooking outdoors is not your idea of fun, how about a trust crockpot?

Crockpot Beefy Cabbage Soup
1/2 head of cabbage,
chopped1 medium onion,
chopped1 large carrot, thinly sliced
3 to 4 tablespoons rice
2 ribs celery, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups beef broth (can make from bouillon or base and hot water)
1 or 2 meaty soup bones or beef shanks, about 1 pound
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) tomatoes, diced
coarsely ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker/Crock Pot. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low. Taste before serving; add salt and more pepper if necessary.
Serve with biscuits or crusty bread.
Beef Cabbage Soup Recipe serves 4


Coming Soon - 2013 Calendars of Events!

January Events - Sign up early
Trial by Jury Dinner
January 12,  6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Basic Dutch Oven Cooking Workshop
January 19, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Introduction to Forging Workshop          January 26 - 27,    9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Dutch Oven Cooking 2                           February 2,   10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Valentine's Dinner                                 February 8,   6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Valentine's Dinner                                 February 9,    6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Frontier Days for Home Schools              February 15, 2013         

Frontier Days at the Hill of Five Trails       February 16 - 17,                

Introduction to Forging Workshop          February 16 - 17,  9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Basic Dutch Oven Cooking Workshop      February 23,    10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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

Group Rates - Book a reservation for your group of 20 or more and everyone gets $1.00 off.
Annual Passes - Unlimited visits and special events, at all Arkansas State Parks
Admission choices- Individual -$20.00 or Family- $30.00 (Parents and children through age 18)
or more information - 870-983-2684
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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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