Elkin's Ferry Purchased; New Preservation Effort Begins at Prairie D'Ane Battlefield

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Friday, August 05, 2016

The Nevada County Depot and Museum formally accepted the deed to a 448-acre tract of the Elkin’s Ferry Battlefield at Prescott in Nevada County in a ceremony at Prescott on Friday, August 5, completing an effort that raised nearly $1 million to purchase the site for development as a heritage tourism destination.

At the same ceremony, a new fund-raising drive to purchase more than 800 acres of the Prairie D’Ane battlefield at Prescott as a heritage tourism site was announced.

The Elkin’s Ferry project, which was led by the Friends of Elkin’s Ferry and the Nevada County Depot Museum, involved state, national and local participants, including the Civil War Trust, the Conservation Fund, the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the Arkansas General Assembly, the Ross and Hendrix Foundations, and dozens of local contributors.

“I congratulate the people of Nevada County for undertaking this remarkable project to both preserve hundreds of acres of hallowed ground and to develop the site as a heritage tourism destination that will spur economic development in the area,” Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst said.

“This project was an extraordinary challenge, but it shows what we can accomplish when we all work together toward a common goal,” Nevada County Depot Museum Board President Jeremy Dickerson said. “We are now pursuing an interpretive plan that will bring visitors to not only Elkin’s Ferry, but to other Civil War battlefields in Nevada County and southwest Arkansas.”

At the same press conference, a new project was announced to acquire an 800-acre tract of the Prairie D’Ane Battlefield adjacent to Interstate 30 at Prescott, which Dr. Pat and Sue Hale are offering to sell for preservation and development as a heritage tourism site. The tract appraised for $1.4 million, and the Hales are offering it for $900,000.

“We are touched by the Hales’ incredibly generous offer,” Dickerson said. “With anticipated funds from the federal government, we will need to raise around $200,000 to close the sale and bring the Prairie D’Ane Battlefield into our economic development strategy.”

Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Nevada County Depot Museum, 403 West First Street South, Prescott, AR 71857. Donors should specify that the donations are for the Prairie D’Ane project.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives.

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