Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Marked Tree, Arkansas

In 1883, the railroad built a track through this area. The community was known as “Edwards” in honor of Jonathan Edwards, head of the railroad crew. When Edwards and the railroad crew moved on,left with the train, he told the citizens to rename the town. The people decided on “Marked Tree” because of a famous legend. The legend starts with the Indians who lived here before the white man. The Osage and Cherokee Indians marked a giant oak tree in this area for transportation purposes to navigate up and down the nearby rivers. In the early 1800’s, the infamous Murrell Outlaw Gang marked the same tree with an “M” for rendezvous purposes. So in 1883, the town was named after this giant oak tree. Later in 1890, the giant tree was swept away by a huge flood that devastated the area. However, in 1979 during a construction project a well preserved giant oak tree was excavated which was believed to be the famous tree. The town also claims to be the only community in the world with the name “Marked Tree” and the only town where two rivers run in different directions! Just in case you are curious, the two rivers are the Saint Francis and the Little. I have been here and the rivers actually run in opposite directions.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I like your blog very much. I found it through BlogCatalog - I collect odd personal names (mostly 19th century ones) and used to make list of funny US town names too, but never thought to find out why they were called what they were.

Rabbit Hash, Kentucky - and up here in Canada, Pickle Lake, Manitoba - were two of my favorites.