Crater of Diamonds State Park History
Local farmer, John Wesley Huddleston, finds the first diamond at what is now Crater of Diamonds State Park.
“Millar’s Crater of Diamonds”, a commercial enterprise, officially opens.
Commission action to create park
Initial land acquired for the park.
Act 859 signed to create the park.
Business was a bit slow at the park until 1975, when Mr. W. W. Johnson found a 16 1/3-carat white diamond on the surface of the field. It was cut to 7 ½ carats and named the “Amarillo Starlight”.
State applies for Diamond Park grant. Grant that will be matched by the state. Plans call for the construction of 50 – 100 “class A” campsites, a new entrance road to be built between Presley’s Rock shop and the Prairie Creek Bridge; a new VIC and extension of water and sewer lines to Murfreesboro.
The earth at the Crater of Diamonds is being bull dozed and plowed. Jim Cannon states “I really don’t know what it will do; this is the first time the soil has been turned to this extent. I have hopes it will improve the diamond hunting over a period of time”. Friday, a county bull dozer, operating on state funds, turned over the first few feet of top soil. After the field is “dozed”, plows will turn more of the soil.
The Kahn Canary diamond was found. It was bought and named by Stan Kahn of Kahn Jewelers in Pine Bluff, AR. It has been lent to Hilary Rodham Clinton to wear at her husband’s inaugurals, both as Governor of Arkansas and as President of the U.S.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park hires a new interpretive geologist, Harry Harnish, and will begin guided tours of Arkansas's diamond site.
Sulphur Springs, TX man finds 5-carat silver cape diamond valued @ $5,000 - $10,000. L. C. Hawkins
Record breaking month – 97 diamonds found
History of Crater of Diamonds program to begin – 1 hour program
4th of July has over 3700 visitors. Largest diamond was a 3.30 carat white by Don Mayes
Betty Lamle of Hitchock, OK found a 8.61 carat brown diamond. Lamle Diamond is 2nd largest since the state purchased Crater of Diamonds State Park in 1972.
Crater of Diamonds State Park named outstanding park of Arkansas State Parks' Class III parks for 1978. Approximately 120,000 visitors enjoyed the park that year.
Visitor Information Center dedicated. The project was formally dedicated Thursday afternoon. Orville Richolson of Newport, chairman of the State Parks and Tourism Commission, made the dedication speech before about 100 guests, state and local dignitaries, and visitors. Other improvements include 60 new campsites, a public laundry, additional parking facilities, a short order café, picnic areas, and new bathhouses and restrooms.
James Williamson of Arizona was the first tourist to purchase a ticket at the new VIC early Saturday. He was also the first to register a diamond find – a 5.08 carat brown diamond.
First “gems from the diamond mine” by Harry Harnish. Biweekly.
Crater receives outstanding park of the year for 1979
Since deep plow of three feet by heavy equipment, visitors have been finding diamonds at rate of two per day. Within a few days of the furrowing project, a 4.25-carat yellow diamond was found by Paul June of Houston TX.
James Archer of Nashville, AR uncovers his 241st gem at the CODSP. 3.27 carat silver cape diamond.
Joe Trombello new ranger at Crater of Diamonds State Park
Sam Barkley of N. Little Rock found a 5.15 carat white diamond on Monday after 30 minutes of searching. Surface hunting.
– 2 large diamonds found at the crater. Charles Newman of Little Rock, AR found a 6.25 carat white and Martin Griffin of Carmi, IL found a 5.90 carat brown.
Anaconda Mining Company of Denver Colorado is attempting to obtain lease rights for diamond mining operations at the CODSP. Governor Frank White is interested in at least considering commercial mining on the park land.
Tourism Commission rejects mining offer at crater. The state parks and tourism commission Thursday rejected a sizeable offer by anaconda mining company to lease the crate for a mining operation. The vote was 11 to 1 to turn down the offer of $500,000 annually until actual production began at which time they would pay the state 15% of the net profit of all diamonds they found.
2nd largest diamond found since Crater became a state park. Carroll Blankenship of S’port, LA found a 8.82 carat white diamond. Has been visiting the mine for 5 years and has found 71 diamonds. Named Star of Shreveport.
Marcel Hanzlik – new ranger.
Ray Schall of Murfreesboro found a 6.7 carat flawless white diamond on November 14. Sixth largest diamond to be found since crater became a state park.
Tom Stolarz of Hammond, IN recently named Park Interpreter at CODSP
Film crew from Ripley’s Believe it or Not at the Crater. It will air on February 20.
James Archer, a longtime “regular” miner at Crater of Diamonds State Park, passes away at age 77.
The official release of the new Arkansas Quarter on October 28, 2003, at Crater of Diamonds State Park
Colorado resident Ray Baptista finds a 3.10-carat brown diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Diamond Springs Aquatic Playground opens at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Don Hing Lo and Cecilia Cheung, of Peekskill, New York, find a 2.68-carat white teardrop-shaped diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Aneesah Rasheed, of Shreveport, Louisiana, hired as park interpreter at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Crater of Diamonds State Park receives 2003-2004 Region IV Park of the Year Award.
Marshall Rieff, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, unearths the 25,000th diamond—a 19-point white—found since the Crater of Diamonds became a state park in 1972.
Crater of Diamonds State Park excavates a large trench on the east side of the diamond search area to open up new diamond-bearing ground.
99-year-old Alberta Rice, of Jetmore, Kansas, visits Crater of Diamonds State Park. She was born in 1906, the same year John Huddleston found the first diamonds in Pike County.
Crater of Diamonds State Park receives the 2004-2005 Park Maintenance Award.
Darrell Burkes, of West Helena, Arkansas, finds a 2.16-carat yellow diamond while surface hunting at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Harold Lay, of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, finds a flawless, 3.36-carat yellow diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Marvin Culver, an Oklahoma trooper, found a yellow, 4.21-carat diamond he named the Okie Dokie Diamond. This was his family's first visit to the Crater of Diamond State Park.
Jennifer Jones, of Derby, Kansas, and her son Jacob Ballard find a 2.12-carat yellow diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Brian and Cheryl Sanderford, of Rudy, Arkansas, find a 2.30-carat brown diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Mike Ellison, of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, finds the 2.18-carat Moonshine Diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Crater of Diamonds State Park excavates a large trench on the west side of the diamond search area to open up new diamond-bearing ground.
Donald and Brenda Roden, of Point, Texas, find the 6.35-carat brown Roden Diamond, the 8th-largest diamond found since the Crater of Diamonds became a state park in 1972.
Bob Wehle, of Ripon, Wisconsin, finds the 5.47-carat yellow Sunshine Diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Crater of Diamonds State Park receives the 2005-2006 Region IV Park of the Year Award.
Gary Dunlap, of Jefferson, Arkansas, finds the 2.37-carat Star of Thelma at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Angela Vickers of Winnsboro, Texas, finds a 2.93-carat yellow diamond she names the God's Blessing diamond.
Twelve-year-old Michael Dettlaff of Apex, North Carolina, finds a honey brown, 5.16-carat diamond in less than 10 minutes of searching at the Crater of Diamonds. He named his stone the God's Glory Diamond.
Fourteen-year-old Tana Clymer of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, finds a yellow, 3.85-carat diamond she names the God's Jewel diamond. Tana later sells her gem for $20,000 to go toward's her future college education.
Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, finds a white, 8.52-carat diamond she names the Esperanza Diamond for her niece's name and the Spanish word for "hope." She found her gem in only 30 minutes of searching.