Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Black Rock in Randolph County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Decline and Abandonment

 

— Davidsonville Historic State Park —

 
Decline and Abandonment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
1. Decline and Abandonment Marker
Inscription.  
Myths
Within the short span of 15 years, Davidsonville rose in size and importance, and just as quickly returned to oblivion. The quick demise of Davidsonville led to local myths about its fall—a yellow fever epidemic, a mass exodus, or a town destroyed by fire. Although colorful, there is no evidence supporting these myths. Historical and archeological evidence suggests the demise of Davidsonville came from environmental and political influences.

Transportation Woes
Despite the logic in siting Davidsonville near three rivers, springtime flooding disrupted transportation routes and isolated the town. Eventually the Black River crossing was moved where flooding was less severe. In addition, Davidsonville's location on a spur, rather than directly on, the Southwest Trail contributed to the town's decline as this route gained in importance.

County Seat Moved
With access in the spring limited by flooding, the town became unsuitable for a county seat. New settlers moved further west to better land, and town residents eventually abandoned flood-prone lands for drier

Decline and Abandonment Marker looking north towards visitors center. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
2. Decline and Abandonment Marker looking north towards visitors center.
Click or scan to see
this page online
options. Following the population, the federal land office was moved west to Batesville after only two years. In 1829 the Lawrence County seat was moved from Davidsonville to Jackson, a town on the Southwest Trail. Businesses would have quickly followed.

Town Dismantled
As people moved, buildings and materials were reused. Small buildings may have been physically moved to new locations, and bricks and stones from larger buildings were recycled. Eventually nothing much was left, and nature covered the remains. Although not as intriguing as yellow fever or fire, these environmental and political factors are believed to be the reasons Davidsonville disappeared.

[Captions]
Detail map of Lawrence County denoting county seats and the rivers.
Log cabin in ruins.

 
Erected by the State of Arkansas.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1829.
 
Location. 36° 9.269′ N, 91° 3.333′ W. Marker is near Black Rock, Arkansas, in Randolph County. Marker is on Arkansas Route 166 0.6 miles south of Arkansas Route 361 when traveling south. Located 11 miles south of Pocahontas within the Davidsonville Historic State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8047 Hwy 166 S, Pocahontas AR 72455, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are

Map showing Public Square and park trails. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 12, 2021
3. Map showing Public Square and park trails.
This marker is near the road on the right of the public square.
within walking distance of this marker. First Postal Stop (within shouting distance of this marker); Archeology Uncovers the Past (within shouting distance of this marker); Private Residence / Post Office (within shouting distance of this marker); House Lots (within shouting distance of this marker); Davidsonville's Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Courthouse Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Oldest Town Site in Arkansas (within shouting distance of this marker); County Seat Town (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Black Rock.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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May. 14, 2021