Russellville is a city in Pope County, Arkansas, United States. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 25,520, ranking it as the state's 16th largest city, behind West Memphis. The ZIP codes are 72802 and 72801. The city is the county seat of Pope County. It has a four year college (Arkansas Tech University) and Arkansas Nuclear One, Arkansas's only nuclear power plant. Russellville borders Lake Dardanelle as well as the Arkansas River. The town was named after Dr. Thomas Russell. The town was almost named Shinnville after a prominent business owner whose last name was Shinn. According to the 2007 US Census, Russellville now has a population of 26,700,
Historic Gowntown Russellville
Russellville is the principal city of the Russellville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Pope and Yell counties.
Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) is a two-unit pressurized water reactor nuclear power plant located in Russellville, Arkansas; it is the only nuclear power plant in Arkansas.
It is owned by Entergy Arkansas and operated by Entergy Nuclear.
Unit One has a generating capacity of 846 MW of electricity, and came online on May 21, 1974. It is licenced to operate through May 20, 2034. Its nuclear reactor was supplied by Babcock and Wilcox.
Unit Two has a generating capacity of 930 MW of electricity, and came online on September 1, 1978. It is licenced to operate through July 18, 2038. Its nuclear reactor was supplied by Combustion Engineering.
The Lake Dardanelle and Winthrop-Rockefeller Lakes are two lakes that lie on the Arkansas River near Russellville, Arkansas and Morrilton, Arkansas. The lakes are only separated by Dardanelle Dam.
Lake Dardanelle is a major lake along the Arkansas River in Arkansas. Russellville, Arkansas lies on Lake Dardanelle, and the lake provides many recreational opportunities. Lake Dardanelle covers nearly 40,000 acres (160 km²) of land, which provides lots of area for boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and scenic views. The lake expands from Dardanelle Dam near Russellville, into Pope, Yell, Logan, Johnson, and Franklin Counties. The lake reaches 50 miles upstream the Arkansas River and has 315 miles of shoreline. Each recreational park on Dardanelle has drinking water, picnic tables, and toilet facilities. Most have trailer dump stations, boat launch ramps, and electrical sites.
Winthrop-Rockefeller Lake is what you could call a "twin lake" to Dardanelle; it starts right below the Dardanelle Dam and extends almost 3 miles southeast to the Arthur V. Ormond Lock and Dam near Morrilton, Arkansas. These lakes have been popular to fishermen because of their large supply of catfish, white bass, bream, crappie, and other species of bass. Fishing is not the only reason for visitors, however; Petit Jean Mountain is close to the area and provides scenic views for visitors along the lake. The Ozark and Ouachita Mountains also offer great scenery and have mountain springs and recreation parks in abundance. The mountains of the Ozarks and Ouachitas are abundant in wildlife. The bald eagle often uses this area for wintering. Eagles can be seen here from late fall through early spring.
Constructed under the supervision of the Corps of Engineers’ Little Rock District, Lake Dardanelle and Winthrop Rockefeller Lake comprise one of the most accessible and attractive recreation areas in Arkansas.
With nearly 40,000 acres of boating and fishing waters and rimmed by choice picnic and camping areas, it is the ideal leisure-time destination. Lake Dardanelle spreads westward behind Dardanelle Dam into Pope, Yell, Logan, Johnson, and Franklin Counties. Two miles wide in places, it reaches 50 miles upstream to the Ozark-Jeta Taylor Lock and Dam and has 315 miles of shoreline.
Parks on Lake Dardanelle offer many recreational opportunities. Each has drinking water, toilet facilities, and picnic tables. Several have boat launch ramps, trailer dump stations, electrical sites with water, and group picnic shelters. Public boat docks offer boat and motor rental services, fuel, food, and other supplies and services.
Winthrop-Rockefeller Lake begins below Dardanelle Dam and extends 2.8 miles southeast to Arthur V. Ormond Lock and Dam near Morrilton. The lake provides excellent boating and fishing with scenic views of Petit Jean Mountain and fertile croplands along the river’s banks.
The Arkansas River has for many years been popular with fishermen for its large catfish. White bass are native to the river, with adults traveling in schools and feeding near the surface. Bream, crappie, and largemouth bass are stocked in the lake and provide excellent sport fishing. With no closed season and mild winters, fishing is good year round.
Located near the Ozark and Ouachita National Forests, the area has an abundance of wildlife. There is in-season hunting for deer, turkey, water fowl and other small game. This game and the picturesque shoreline provide ideal conditions for nature enthusiasts and camera bugs.
The River Valley is a favorite wintering area for the American Bald Eagle. From late fall through early spring, eagle are often seen perched in large trees and on snags along the river as they hunt for their favorite prey – fish. Popular viewing areas include Old Post Road Park in Russellville and Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge, southeast of Dardanelle.
In the early 1800’s the River valley was the center of the Cherokee Nation. The Treaty of Council Oaks, by which the Cherokees relinquished lands south of the Arkansas River, was negotiated at a grove of large oak trees near Dardanelle Rock in what is now the city of Dardanelle.
Dwight Mission, the first Cherokee school west of the Mississippi, was established on Illinois Bayou on the western edge of what is now Russellville in 1821. The Mission and an Army post at Fort Smith did much to stimulate commercial traffic on the river. During the 1800’s thousands of steamboats brought supplies and passengers up the river and hauled cotton and furs and other products downriver to the Mississippi and on to points of commerce such as Memphis and New Orleans.
Dardanelle Aerial of Old Post
Old Post Road Park occupies the former site of Norristown, a once thriving river town and Pope County Seat. The park derives its name from the fact that the first postal route in this part of Arkansas ran through Norristown. As early as 1834, a four horse coach was used to carry mail through Norristown on the route between Little Rock and Dwight Mission.
Steamboat Loaded With Cotton
The old Military Road from Little Rock to Fort Smith also passed through Norristown. Traffic on this road, which crossed the river by ferry, included military personnel, postal riders, wagons, and the famous stagecoaches. During its heyday, steamboats would stop at Norristown to deliver goods to local merchants and to take on fuel wood and bales of cotton for shipment to New Orleans.
In the late 1800’s, the ferry between Dardanelle and Pope County was replaced by a pontoon bridge. At 2,208 feet, it was the longest pontoon bridge ever constructed across a moving body of water. The bridge was completely washed out four times during its more than 30 years of service.
Yhe Pontoon Bridge
The development of the railroads and treacherous conditions on the river contributed to the downfall of the steamboat in the early 1900’s. It was after World War II before any serious attempts were made to tame the Arkansas.
The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System was authorized for, "improvement of the Arkansas River and its tributaries in Arkansas and Oklahoma", by the River and Harbor Act of 1946. Construction on Dardanelle Lock, Dam, and Powerhouse began in June,1957 and was not completed until November,1969. Total project cost, $82,300,000. Construction on Arthur V. Ormond Lock and Dam was begun in January, 1966 and completed in November, 1969 with costs at $32,200,000.
By the 1970’s, the river was once again the dominant force in development of the Arkansas River Valley.
Arkansas River Map
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast and traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
At 1,469 miles (2,364 km) it is the sixth longest river in the United States, the second-longest tributary in the Mississippi-Missouri system, and the 45th longest river in the world. Its origin is in the Rocky Mountains in Lake County, Colorado, near Leadville, and its outlet is at Napoleon, Arkansas. The Arkansas River drainage basin covers nearly 195,000 sq mi (505,000 km²). In terms of volume, the river is smaller than both the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, with a mean discharge of 8,460 ft³/s (240 m³/s).
NBA player Corliss Williamson is a 1992 graduate of Russellville High School.
Elizabeth Ward, crowned Miss America in 1982, is a 1979 graduate of Russellville High School.
American composer Scott Bradley, most known for his works in Tom and Jerry (MGM) cartoons, was from Russellville.
Natalie Canerday, actress (Sling Blade, October Sky, Walk the Line), graduated from Russellville High School.
College All-American and NFL punter Greg Horne graduated from Russellville High in 1983.
American Writer, Poet, and Musician Kurtis Krow was born in Russellville
Pope County Courthouse in Russellville.
Photo by John Gill, courtesy of the photographer
Street scene in Russellville (Pope County); circa 1905.
Courtesy of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library System
Destruction of bootlegged liquor in Russellville (Pope County); 1909.
Courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission
Sketch of Dwight Mission at Russellville (Pope County), the first formal Protestant effort directed at the education and conversion of Native Americans in Arkansas; 1824
From Historic Arkansas, courtesy of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library System