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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Little Rock in Pulaski County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Heights • A History

 
 
The Heights • A History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 17, 2015
1. The Heights • A History Marker
Inscription.  What we know today as The Heights, known earlier as Pulaski Heights, started as a place called Forest Park, Little Rock's largest private park. The last stop on the trolley line, the park was created by the streetcar company to draw visitors to this tract well outside the congested downtown and opened in the summer of 1904. It covered an area from Kavanaugh Boulevard (then called Prospect) to V Street and from University Avenue (then called Hayes Street) to N. Taylor Street (then called Woodson).

Its attractions included a huge swimming pool and bathhouse, a merry-go-round, a dance pavilion, a shooting gallery, a "laughing gallery," an aerial swing, an auditorium, a refreshment stand, a figure-eight railroad, a promenade and bandstand — even a horse racing track as well as a car barn for the trolley line that ended at Forest Park.

Little Rock's first streetcars, pulled by mules, started running in 1877 and were replaced with electric ones in 1891. That same year, a group of developers bought 800 acres "in the highlands northwest of the city" for $80,000. This purchase was the beginning of Pulaski Heights, an incorporated municipality
Marker detail: Promenade & Auditorium image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Promenade & Auditorium
The 40 acres of land leased to the streetcar line for just $1 became a beautiful park including the Promenade, a refreshment stand and the Auditorium. With a seating capacity of 1500, the Auditorium was the venue for the world-famous actress Sarah Bernhardt in one of her "farewell" performances. It drew a crowd of 3000.
from 1905 until 1916, when it was annexed to the city of Little Rock.

Today, "The Heights" is "enthroned" 350 feet above the city and still providing the amenities sought by earlier residents: "pure air, good water, unrivaled scenery and every modern improvement and convenience known to this age of progressive enterprise."
 
Erected 2009 by The Heights Neighborhood Association.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentIndustry & CommerceParks & Recreational AreasRailroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 34° 46.224′ N, 92° 20.365′ W. Marker is in Little Rock, Arkansas, in Pulaski County. Marker is at the intersection of Kavanaugh Boulevard and North Grant Street, on the left when traveling east on Kavanaugh Boulevard. Marker is located along the sidewalk on the north side of the street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Little Rock AR 72207, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Arkansas Statehood Centennial (approx. 3.2 miles away); Dedicated to You, A Free Citizen in a Free Land (approx. 3.3 miles away); "Testament" (approx. 3.3 miles away); Arkansas Medal of Honor Monument (approx. 3.4 miles away); To The Confederate Women of Arkansas
Marker detail: Forest Park Swimming Pool image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Forest Park Swimming Pool
Forest Park's swimming pool was a city block long and half as wide. It was filled by artesian wells and had dressing rooms and a checkroom. Known as one of the finest municipal swimming pools in the south, it was located near what is today the Heights Theater Building. In the fall of 1939, the pool was filled in, the site leveled, and the ground was used for residential construction.
(approx. 3.4 miles away); Arkansas Vietnam Veterans' Memorial (approx. 3.4 miles away); The Old State House (approx. 4.1 miles away); In Memory of Herman Davis (approx. 4.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Little Rock.
 
Also see . . .
1. Pulaski Heights. Pulaski Heights was the project of Michigan industrialist Henry Franklin Auten, who settled in Little Rock by 1890 and later organized the Pulaski Heights Land Company, which was capitalized at $500,000. He purchased an initial 800 acres in March 1891, following this with another 500 acres. To make his development more attractive, Auten obtained an extension of Little Rock’s streetcar franchise into Pulaski Heights, with the area receiving streetcar service in 1903. (Submitted on December 1, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Pulaski Heights (Wikipedia). One early attraction of The Heights was Forest Park, developed in 1904 soon after the Little Rock Traction and Electric Company introduced streetcar service into Pulaski Heights in 1903. The park, located at the end of the Pulaski Heights streetcar line, was intended to increase ridership and income for the company, especially on weekends. In 1939,
Marker detail: Forest Park image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Forest Park
Forest Park was the site of the Pulaski County Fair for several years; and the racetrack, an aerial swing, the "laughing gallery" and shooting gallery were constructed for that purpose. On Sundays, the racetrack was often used for balloon ascensions with an acrobatic balloonist performing from a parachute-supported trapeze.
the park was closed and its land sold, although its name is preserved today by the neighborhood Forest Park Elementary School and the Forest Park Station of the United States Postal Service. (Submitted on December 1, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Forest Park Pavilion image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Forest Park Pavilion
The walks to the Forest Park pavilion were wide and bordered with flower beds. A large white stucco theater stood at the far end of the main walk, and beyond the theater was a small zoo. The entrance to Forest Park was on Kavanaugh Boulevard opposite Pierce Street, where a long shed protected waiting trolley passengers from inclement weather.
Marker detail: Forest Park 1915 image. Click for full size.
6. Marker detail: Forest Park 1915
The Heights • A History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 17, 2015
7. The Heights • A History Marker
Contemporary Electric Streetcar in Little Rock image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 16, 2015
8. Contemporary Electric Streetcar in Little Rock
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 39 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on December 1, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Feb. 26, 2021