Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Coal Gap School
Coal Gap School

COAL GAP SCHOOL, LARUE, BENTON COUNTY

ELABORATION

The tiny community of Larue was established and grew up around the local post office in the late nineteenth century. A general store was opened later to serve the surrounding population working the fruit orchards that were the mainstay of Benton County’s economy. In the 1920s, the orchard industry had begun to decline in Benton County and the local economy began to shift toward small grain agriculture, sheep farming, and poultry and dairy production. The Coal Gap School, in what was then Benton County School District #105, was built during this period of economic transition a few miles to the northeast of Larue. Interestingly, today the Coal Gap School is isolated from its former relationship with Larue through the creation of Beaver Lake in the 1960s.

The Coal Gap School, constructed in 1928 and therefore during the period covered by the historic context The Evolution of the Public School System in the Arkansas Ozarks, 1920-1940, is a representative example of a small wood frame school building constructed for a rural school district. Its use during this period as a local school building clearly identifies it with this historic context and with this property type. It is significant locally under Criterion A through its direct association with the history of the evolution of the public school system in the Ozark Mountain region of the state during this period.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

See “Public Schools in the Arkansas Ozarks, 1920-1940” Multiple Property Form, Section H.