Historians seem to choose different dates to define the Colonial period in the United States. Arkansas historian, Morris Arnold, chooses the dates between 1686 and 1804. It was in 1686 that Arkansas Post was settled at Lake Dumand, which at the time was part of the main channel of the Arkansas River in southeast Arkansas. It was May 1804 when Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition through parts of the new U.S. acquisition known as the Louisiana Purchase.
According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, “By the first decades of the 1700s, large groups of hunters trudged through the hills and deltas seeking all types of available wildlife, but were especially interested in bears. Bear fat—more than meat or fur—was prized for its multiple uses, including fuel for oil lamps, insect repellent, and hair gel. Indeed, through much of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, bear products represented a key segment of the local economy.”
For European man during this early time in Arkansas there were crisscrossed buffalo trails, Indian trade routes, and war paths. Hunters made up the vast majority of those Europeans who chose to make this area their home. They were poor! They hunted, cured meat, and traded in tallow and bear oil. Other than the clothes on their back and their light flintlock muskets, they had no other worldly goods. Outsiders described them as “People of bad behavior”. With information like this, the upcoming program at Hobbs State Park has to be good.
Steve Dunlap, the Northwest Region Education Coordinator for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, comes to Hobbs to present an impactful story of Colonial bear hunting in Arkansas. Dunlap, “Tells it as it is, or was”, and that is why his programs are so memorable. Bring your friends and neighbors for this one.
Where: Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center located on Hwy 12, just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection
When: 2:00 p.m. Sunday February 10, 2019
Cost: FREE: The public is invited
For more information on Hobbs’ programs, trails, picnicking, or meeting room rentals, Call: 479-789-5000