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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Marianna, AR

Marianna is a city in and the county seat of Lee County, Arkansas, United States,along the L'Anguille River. The population was 5,181 at the 2000 census.


As of 2006 there are five schools in Marianna, two of which are private. The public schools are Lee Senior High, Strong Middle, Strong Elementary, and Whitten Elementary. The private schools include Lee Academy and Friendship Academy. As of 2006 Lee Academy had about 325 students. It is in the MPSA, Mississippi Private School Association. Lee Academy's headmaster is Billy Fuerguson. Lee Academy caters to children from 3-year old kindergarten all the way to twelfth grade. Friendships is a small, Christian private school. They have roughly 70 students from kindergarten all the way to twelfth grade.

Notable people born here

Carlos Hall-Football player who used to play defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Carlos DeShaun Hall (born January 16, 1979 in Marianna, Arkansas) is an American football defensive end who is currently a free agent. He was originally drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL Draft. he played college football at Arkansas.

Hall has also been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos in his career.

College career

Hall started 32 of 41 career games at the University of Arkansas, where he was named honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith and second-team All-SEC by Associated Press as senior, recording 49 tackles, five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one sack.

Oliver Lake-Alto saxophone player and composer who received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993.

Oliver Lake (b. Marianna, Arkansas, September 14, 1944) is an American alto saxophonist, flutist, composer and poet. Lake started playing and studying the alto saxophone in 1960, where in the mid 1960s he was working with the St. Louis Black Artists Group (BAG). In 1977 Lake co-founded the World Saxophone Quartet, composing as leader and releasing several recordings.

Lake is a resident of Montclair, New Jersey.

Oscar Polk-Broadway actor who played a slave in Gone with the Wind (film),

Oscar Polk (Marianna, Arkansas, December 25, 1899[1] — New York City, January 4, 1949) was an African American actor, best known for his portrayal as the servant "Pork" in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind.

His Broadway credits include:

The Trial of Mary Dugan (1927)
Both Your Houses (1933)
The Green Pastures (1935)
You Can't Take It With You (1936)
Swingin' The Dream (1939), a swing music adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Sunny River (1942)
The Walking Gentleman (1942)
Dark Eyes (1943)
Other stage credits:

Horses Are Like That (1943)
Bigger Than Barnum (1946)
The Magnificent Heel (1946)
He was announced for the cast of Ruth Gordon's The Leading Lady in 1948, but the play opened on Broadway with Ossie Davis in the role.

Rodney E. Slater-United States Secretary of Transportation from February 14, 1997 to January 20, 2001.

Rodney Earl Slater (born in Marianna, Arkansas on February 23, 1955) was the United States Secretary of Transportation under U. S. President Bill Clinton.

Slater graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1977, and received his Juris Doctor degree from The University of Arkansas in 1980.

Slater became an assistant attorney general for the state of Arkansas in 1980. He was appointed to several state government positions in Arkansas by Bill Clinton, who was then the governor of Arkansas. Slater was also the director of governmental affairs for Arkansas State University during that time.

After Clinton became president, Slater became the first African American Director of the Federal Highway Administration.

In 1997, Slater was appointed to be the Secretary of Transportation.

Slater was able to muster bipartisan support in congress for his projects including:

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), making a record $200 billion investment in surface transportation.
The Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), which provides a record $46 billion to provide safety and security of the nation's aviation system.

Negotiation of 40 Open Skies Agreements with other countries.

As of 2005 Slater is an attorney with the firm of Patton Boggs, LLP., where he works on projects related to the transportation infrastructure. He is also a partner in James Lee Witt Associates, a risk management firm headed by former Federal Emergency Management Agency head James Lee Witt. He currently serves on the board of directors of Africare and is the chair of the Board of Trustees of United Way.

In late July 2006, it was announced that Slater was part of a group of investors headed by Stan Kasten that successfully purchased the Major League Baseball team, the Washington Nationals.

Robert McFerrin Sr. (March 19, 1921 – November 24, 2006) was an American opera singer who was the first African American male to sing at the New York Metropolitan Opera. He was also father of the Grammy Award-winning conductor-vocalist Bobby McFerrin.

Robert McFerrin Sr. (March 19, 1921 – November 24, 2006) was the first African-American male to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. His voice was described by critic Albert Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times as "a baritone of beautiful quality, even in all registers, and with a top that partakes of something of a tenor's ringing brilliance."

Early years

Robert Keith McFerrin was born in Marianna, Arkansas, the son of an itinerant Baptist minister, Melvin McFerrin, and Mary McKinley McFerrin. When Robert was two, the family moved to Memphis, TN.

Robert showed vocal talent at a early age, singing while still a boy soprano in a local church's gospel choir. As a young teenager he joined two of his siblings in a trio. The three accompanied their father on regional preaching engagements, singing gospel songs, hymns and spirituals. Reverend McFerrin did not wish Robert to sing non-gospel music, but in the end this wish was undone by his desire to give his son the best possible education.

After Robert completed eight grades in Memphis, his father sent him to live with his aunt and uncle in St. Louis in order for him to attend Sumner High School. There, the young man's musical horizons widened. He joined the choir and impressed the director, Wirt Walton, sufficiently that he began teaching Robert privately.Walton also arranged for Robert's first vocal recital to help him earn funds for his college enrollment.

Dennis Winston- Football player for the Steelers.

Dennis Edward Winston (born October 25, 1955 in Forrest City, Arkansas) is a former professional American football linebacker in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints. He played college football at the University of Arkansas.

City History

National Register of Historic Places

While the first inhabitants of Lee County were Indians, the first tourists were, in all likelihood, Hernando DeSoto and his troops. According to the DeSoto Commission, after crossing the Mississippi in 1541, the Spanish explorer spent his first summer near the confluence of the St. Francis and L'Anguille Rivers. More than a century later, the explorers Marquette and Jolliet came down the Mississippi and spread the civilizing influence of France on this land.

McClintock Home

When a fledgling republic bought the Louisiana Territory from France, the base point for the survey of the Louisiana Purchase was established at a point near the juncture of Phillips, Lee and Monroe County lines. Interestingly enough, the first white child born in Arkansas was John Patterson, who claimed to have been born in a kingdom (Spain), reared in an empire (France), attained manhood in a territory, became a citizen of state and never ventured a hundred miles from his birthplace. His grave is only a mile southeast of Marianna on Hwy. 44.

Elks Club

Although no significant battles were fought in Lee County during the Civil War, the sympathies of its citizenry persuaded the Arkansas Legislature in 1873 to name the county for the Commanding General of the Confederate Army, Robert E. Lee. St. Francis, Monroe, Phillips and Crittenden counties yielded land for its formation.

Marianna was named for the daughter of John Harland, who provided the initial property for the establishment of the town. Its centennial was celebrated in 1970.

Historical Markers

La Grange 8 miles south on Hwy. 1, 2 miles east on 121. Established about 1820. First post office in 1852. Postmaster, physician Jessie Everett, great-grandfather of Helen Keller. Charles Adams, her grandfather, was one of first settlers and Kate Adams, mother of Keller, attended the first school there.

John Patterson Marker 1 mile southeast of Marianna on Hwy. 44. First Anglo-Saxon child born west of the Mississippi River. Lived under seven flags but never left his home place on Patterson Branch. Marker is on left going east and just before the Branch Bridge.

Louisiana Purchase Survey marker. Located at the intersection of the Baseline and Fifth principal meridian in the southwest corner of Lee County. Established in 1815. Take Hwy. 79 west from Marianna to Hwy 49. Turn left and watch for signs leading to park.

Marianna - Lee County Industrial Community presently consists of one enterprising factory:

Camaco - manufacturer of metal frames for car seats,

CAMACO Manufacturing Group is the largest independent supplier of engineered seat frames to the North American automotive market. Recognized as a leader for seating system solutions, CAMACO's diverse product scope includes stamped metal and wire frame seat assemblies, headrest and armrest structures, visor rod and towel bars, complementary metal reinforcement components, along with instrument panel and console substrates.

Cedar Heights Cemetery Downtown area behind Lee County Courthouse, Marianna, Lee County

Established in 1894, the cemetery is the burial place of many of the founding families of the area.

The Missouri-Pacific Depot in Marianna was constructed c. 1915 as part of the Missouri-Pacific Railroad's campaign to expand its network of rail lines throughout the country and to establish the railroad’s corporate identity through the use of the Italianate/Mediterranean style for its passenger and freight depots. The construction of the Marianna depot coincided with the purchase of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad by the Missouri-Pacific Railroad and the construction campaign of new Missouri-Pacific depots along the its expanding network throughout Arkansas. Listed Aug. 5, 1994.

Located in portions of Chestnut, Liberty, E. Columbia, Mississippi, Poplar, Main, Court and Church Streets. Contains 1884-1950 buildings displaying Gothic Revival, Italianate, Neoclassical, Art Deco, and commercial architectural styles. The Marianna Commercial Historic District served as the center of the town’s business, civic, cultural, and social life since the early 1870s. It possesses a significant concentration, linkage, and continuity of sites, buildings, structures, and objects that reflect nineteenth and twentieth-century commercial architectural styles as well as other high-style designs. Located within the boundaries of this district are the Lee County Courthouse,and the General Robert E. Lee Monument, both on the National Register. Listed on the National Historic Register Jan. 4, 2001.

Marianna Walking Tour

Marianna Square
Walking tour of historic homes, churches and other buildings. Chamber of Commerce,

Marianna National Guard Armory

The Marianna National Guard Armory is a good example of an Art Deco-style National Guard armory. The Marianna Armory was constructed in 1929 as part of a statewide armory building program that was authorized by Act 271 of 1925, which created a “Military Fund” to be used in the construction of armories. A total of seventeen armories were built or purchased using the fund; after the Great Depression hit the state, most armory building was done through such New Deal agencies as the Works Progress Administration. The structure reflects the Art Deco style of architecture, one of the more popular styles for the armories that were built during the period. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places Jan. 24, 2007.

Lee County Courthouse

By the mid-1930s Lee County decided to add onto the red brick courthouse it had built in 1890. Unlike several other Depression-era courthouse expansions in Arkansas, the 1936 addition was not a smaller extension attached to the back or side of the existing building, but a new building attached to the front of the existing structure. Visually different in both style and materials from the previous structure, the new courthouse updated the public image of the county’s government. Architects George Mahan and Everett Woods used the Classical Revival style, which was considered more fashionable and representative of the county’s ambitions. Listed on the National Historic Register Sept. 7, 1995.

McClendon-Mann-Felton Cotton Gin

This state of the art cotton gin has a peak capacity of 50 bales per hour and an annual volume of approximately 45,000 to 50,000 bales. Lon Mann, one of the owners, was named 2000 National Ginner of the Year. Tours by appointment.

McClintock House, J. M.

The J.M. McClintock house was designed by Charles L. Thompson c. 1912. It differs from the ordinary builder-designed bungalow in its sensitive scale, proportions, and attention to detail. Located on a main thoroughfare in the city, the house is an important component of its 1920s residential neighborhood. Listed on the National Historic Register Dec. 22, 1982.

McClintock House, W. S.

The McClintock House, a Neo-Classic Revival structure, was designed by Charles L. Thompson and built by J.A. Keedy in 1912. Thompson was the most prominent architect in Arkansas at the turn of the 20th century and was responsible for designing many of the state’s finer structures. McClintock settled in Marianna in 1886 and worked in the logging business. He began a mercantile business later, and soon had a machinery franchise that furnished farmers in the surrounding area with equipment. House owned today by the C R. West family. Listed on the National Historic Register Dec. 28, 1977.

Patterson Branch Historical Marker

Site of where the first child of Anglo-Saxon parents was born west of the Mississippi in 1790.

W. G. Huxtable Pumping Plant

Designed and constructed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the plant is the largest of its kind in the world. Its purpose is twofold: to prevent floodwater from the Mississippi River from moving into the St. Francis Basin via the St. Francis River, and to remove water impounded in the lower St. Francis Basin by the Mississippi and St. Francis river levees. Tours by appointment.

Seat Assemblies

A strategic minority business enterprise to OEM manufacturers and Tier One transportation suppliers, CAMACO has the ability to deliver full-service solutions ranging from design, engineering, prototyping and tooling, to blanking, stamping, welding and assemblies.

Headrest Assemblies

Whether focusing on product development, process innovation or enhancing productivity, CAMACO is dedicated to delivering solutions that reduce cost, increase efficiency and improve your time to market.


Deer, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, quail, duck, and dove are some of the abundant game species found in Lee County. Duck and deer hunting are perhaps the most popular game sports in the Lee County area, but squirrel, turkey, and dove are bountiful. These game animals can be found countywide, but public hunting is primarily limited to the 21,200 acre St. Francis National Forest. Gun deer season on the St. Francis National Forest has been temporarily canceled until the 2000 fall season or later. Archery deer hunting is permitted in season.

Hornersneck Cypress

Fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, crappie, bream, bluegill, catfish and other game fish are available countywide. Bear Creek Lake (640 acres) and Storm Creek Lake (425 acres) on the St. Francis National Forest are two of Arkansas' best kept secret fishing holes. Both lakes are among the state's best fishing lakes for bream and crappie, plus each lake has an overabundance of young bass. There is a 13-16 inch slot rule for bass in effect on both of these lakes. Fishermen are encouraged to catch and keep bass under 13 inches in length on these lakes. There is a 10 horsepower maximum size limit on boat motors on Bear Creek and Storm Creek Lakes.

Park Campground

Public boat launch ramps are available on both lakes, on the L'Anguille River in Marianna, and on the St. Francis River in the St. Francis National Forest. Each of these ramps is just a few miles boat trip downriver to the Mississippi River. Sport and commercial fishing for catfish, gar, buffalo, and other river fishes on these rivers is some of the best in the country, not to mention some of the best scenery and waterfowl watching found anywhere.

Park Picnic Area

Public fishing is also available for a small fee at several private fishing launches along the rivers and oxbow lakes in Lee and surrounding counties. Other public hunting and fishing opportunities can be found on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's 200 acre Lee County Wildlife Management Area near Haynes.

Dreamers Resturant

We are located in historic downtown Marianna, AR. We offer the freshest products available and our customer service is top notch. We offer homemade desserts and have received raves over our cheesecakes. Whole Cheesecakes made to order are also available and can be shipped. Check out our monthly calendar for our daily lunch specials. We are currently compiling a Dreamers E-mail list that we use to notify interested parties of upcoming specials and events.

Marianna is located in the state’s Delta Region, approximately 100 miles east of Little Rock and 50 miles southwest of West Memphis.

Originally established as a trading post along the L’Anguille River, Marianna (named after the daughter of John Harland who sold the land that originally established the town) was incorporated in 1870. Marianna serves as the county seat of Lee County, which was incorporated in 1873.

During the first few decades of its existence, Marianna was a thriving river town. Residents would load their wares – including hides, timber and agricultural crops – and send them via steamer to Memphis. As railroads became more accessible and reliable means of transportation, traffic on the L’Anguille and St. Francis Rivers declined.

Agriculture and timber soon became the major economic forces in Marianna. Surrounded by fertile farmland and hardwood forests, the city continued to grow throughout the beginning of the 20th Century. On August 13, 1918, fire ravaged downtown Marianna, completely destroying 14 businesses and causing over $1 million in damage.

Marianna’s downtown is a National Historic District and the city boasts eight listings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located along the Great River Road and Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byways, Marianna is home to the northern portion of the St. Francis National Forest. At just over 22,000 acres, the St. Francis is one of the smallest National Forests but offers a cornucopia of outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, hiking and boating. Bear Creek Lake is noted for its abundance of largemouth bass and blue and channel catfish.

St. Francis Scenic Byway

This scenic byway, comprised of Phillips County Roads 239 and 217, along with Lee County Road 221, is located in the St. Francis National Forest between the cities of Marianna and Helena/West Helena. This winding route is located atop Crowley's Ridge for more than 21 miles and is the designated Great River Road. Look for the green and white pilot wheel markers.

Great River Road National Scenic Byway

Eastern Arkansas is a vital part of The Great River Road, a scenic parkway that follows the Mississippi River through the ten states bordering the river.

From its headwaters at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota to its entry into the Gulf of Mexico, the mighty Mississippi River flows transportation, recreation, energy and industry through the heartland of America. Fascinating stops all along the way recall great moments in history.

The history of America evolved along the banks of this mighty stream. From the days of Native Americans, de Soto, Marquette and Joliet, the Civil War, steamboats and Mark Twain, the Mississippi River has played a vital role in the development of the nation.

Treat yourself and your family to an unforgettable view of the Eastern Arkansas segment of this great route. Just follow the green and white pilot wheel highway markers as you travel. Arkansas interpretive centers for The Great River Road are located at the Delta Cultural Center in Helena and Lake Chicot State Park at Lake Village.

Driving The Great River Road

The Great River Road-Arkansas follows Delta lands shaped by the awesome power of the Mississippi River. Throughout the journey, the river rarely shows itself. But its handiwork is evident in the natural landforms and the rich alluvial soil that once nurtured only swamps, bayous and bottomland forests. Over time, diverse cultures have inhabited the region, adapting the river's fertile gifts into the most production farmland in the world, and leaving echoes of their history on the landscape.

Cotton Fields

Out-of-state travelers are likely to enter The Great River Road-Arkansas via connecting Great River Road segments in Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi or Louisiana. Access points include U. S. 61 South from Missouri, I-55 North from Tennessee, U. S. 49 West from Mississippi, U. S. 82 West from Mississippi, or U. S. 65 North from Louisiana. For convenience, driving directions are given from North to South. But feel free to pick up the byway from any direction and take plenty of time to enjoy the sights.


The Great River Road

Begin your North-South journey along Arkansas' Great River Road at the historic concrete arch that spans U. S. Highway 61 at the Missouri-Arkansas Line. Drive South on U. S. 61 through Blytheville, Osceola and Wilson to S. H. 77. (Sidetrips: The Buffalo Island towns of Manila, Leachville, Monette, Caraway and Black Oak are accessible from U. S. 61 at Blytheville. The Sunken Lands towns of Tyronza, Marked Tree, Trumann, Lake City and Lepanto are accessible from S. H. 77 at Turrell.)

Take S. H. 77 South through Marion. (Sidetrip: Parkin and Earle) Continue on S. H. 77 South to West Memphis. At U. S. 70 in West Memphis, also known as Broadway, head west to S. H. 147. (An alternate is to head east on U. S. 70 through downtown West Memphis to I-55 and the Tennessee State Line.)

Take S. H. 147 south to S. H. 38, then S. H. 38 West to Hughes. (Side trip: Madison and Forrest City). At Hughes, take U. S. 79 South to Marianna.

Drive through Marianna on S. H. 44 (Chestnut and Poplar Streets in the downtown area) and enter the St. Francis National Forest. Lee C. R. 221, Phillips C. R. 217, and Phillips County 239 will take you through the St. Francis National Forest to Helena. (Side trips: West Helena and Marvell)

Through Helena, you will be on Holly, Columbia and Biscoe Streets. From Helena, take S. H. 44 South to Elaine; S. H. 20 West to S. H. 318; S. H. 318 North to S. H. 316; and S. H. 316 West to S. H. 1. (Side trip: Brinkley, Clarendon, and Holly Grove)

S. H. 1 will lead you across the White River to St. Charles. (Side trip: Stuttgart). Continue south on S. H. 1 to DeWitt. At DeWitt, take U. S. 165 South, crossing the Arkansas River. At this point, travelers can continue on U. S. 165 to U. S. 65 South at Dumas, or turn east onto S. H. 1 at Back Gate.

The Back Gate route on S. H. 1 leads East and South to S. H. 4, which goes South to Arkansas City, then heads back west to rejoin U. S. 65 at McGehee.

U. S. l 65 South takes you from Dumas to Lake Village (Side Trips: Monticello and Dermott). At Lake Village, you have the option to continue South on U. S. 65 through Eudora to the Louisiana Line, or head East on U. S. 82 to the Mississippi River Bridge and the Mississippi State Line.

Crowley's Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway,

National scenic byway follows the 198-mile length of the Delta's only "highlands;" comprised of federal, state and county roads. From Piggott to Helena, the route passes by or near five state parks, a national forest, Civil War sites, the former home of Ernest Hemingway, historic homes, museums, rich agricultural areas, and the Delta Cultural Center.