Scenic USA - Arkansas

Collier Homestead

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Collier Homestead - St Joe, Arkansas

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     America was headed toward years of Buffalo River at Tyler Bend - St Joe, Arkansas economical devastation in 1928, prompting the Colliers to leave their Kentucky home and head west. Solomon (Sod) Collier, along with his family, packed into a small pickup truck. With 15 cents in his pocket, the Colliers went off looking for the opportunity of a lifetime. Here in Arkansas, land was still available under the 1862 Homestead Act. Although most prime bottomland was taken, pockets along the slopes and ridges remained unclaimed.
     Within a few years of their arrival, Sod had planted 40 acres overlooking the Buffalo River at Tyler Bend, well on his way in satisfying the Homestead Act's requirements. He built a three room home and numerous out-buildings. By 1937, the Colliers became one of the last families to acquire land under the Homestead Act.
     A 1960s Buffalo River dam project would have flooded the Collier residence, but the National Park Service had different plans for the area. In 1972 the Buffalo River became America's first National River. The Collier home was re-discovered and restored by the Park Service. Today, visitors may view the home by way of the River Overlook Trail.

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