Parkin Archeological State Park
Excellent displays of early Indian settlement in Arkansas
Check out the slide shows, pictures, videos, and information below.
This state park preserves the grounds where Native American Indians lived around 1000-1550 A.D. along the St. Francis River. It is believed that Hernando Desoto on his 1541-1543 expedition may have visited here with these Mississippian Indians that he noted as the Casqui. The park has a 3/4 mile self-guided tour that you can follow to learn about the history of this site. There is a nice display of paintings depicting the native Americans and artifacts that represent those used by the people of that time in the auditorium in the Visitor Center. The Arkansas Archeological Survey works in conjunction with the state park to do ongoing research studying earlier digs. There is a glassed-in room where you can watch people at work and a nice pottery display to view. The Visitor Center also has a museum of artifacts and displays of effigy pottery and items found on or near the site. Educational classes are held by the park personnel to teach school children and others about life of these native Americans.
In the early 1900's a Lumber company set up a mill near this site and a side trail of 1/4 mile can be added to the self-guided tour to view an old schoolhouse for this community and signs that tell the history of that period. This area became known at Sawdust Hill Community because of the mill's saw dust, which was dumped in the former Casqui Indian village's moot until the Great Depression of the 1930's. The Mill finally closed in 1945.
For more information, check out the following links:
Arkansas State Parks website
The pictures below will give you a taste of the sights at Parkin Archeological State Park
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These are samples of signs along the self-guided trail.
This slideshow gives you some pictures of the side trip on the Archeological trail of the Casqui Indians to the Sawdust Hill Community that came into being in the 1920's. The Northern Ohiio Cooperage and Lumber Company was established here and many of the people who worked at the mill there lived next to it. An old school house is on the site and some instructional signs to explain the history of this community. There is a 1/4 mile trail connecting it to the self-guided trail for Parkin Archeological Park.
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This is a long video of 48 1/2 minutes, but you can just watch small parts of it if you are not fascinated with the early Mississippian Indian's life. The speaker, Mel Harvey, is very knowledgeable about this period of history and the Parkin site so it is worth your time to sample at least a few minutes of it. For history buffs who want to know a lot about the Indians and park, it is worth taking the time to watch the whole presentation. She gave this lecture in 2016 to a group at the old state house museum, and she has slides to show with her presentation that will help you understand what she is talking about.