Dover, Arkansas is a small town located in Pope County that has a rich history. The area around Dover has been home to human settlements for centuries, with evidence of Native American tribes living in the area as far back as 6,000 years ago. It is an area that has seen wars, natural disasters, scientific advancements and moments of great cultural significance. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Dover.
1. The Trail of Tears
In 1838, the United States government forcibly removed thousands of Native Americans from their ancestral lands in the southeastern part of the country and moved them to settlements located in what is now Oklahoma. As they were forcibly relocated, the Cherokee people traveled through the area near Dover. The journey was brutal and took thousands of lives from the tribes. This event is historically known as the "Trail of Tears."
2. The Civil War
Arkansas played an important role in the Civil War, with soldiers from both the Confederacy and Union fighting in the state. The town of Dover was occupied by Union forces during the war, with a small skirmish taking place in the area. The Battle of Arkansas Post, one of the final battles of the Civil War, took place roughly 50 miles southeast of Dover, along the Arkansas River.
3. The Natural State Tornado Outbreak
On April 25th and 26th, 2011, a massive tornado outbreak hit Arkansas, causing widespread destruction and loss of life. Dover was one of the towns hit by the outbreak, and the storm damaged many homes and caused significant destruction throughout the area. At least eight people lost their lives in Pope County as a result of the storms, and hundreds more were injured.
4. The First Manned Hot Air Balloon Flight
The first manned hot air balloon flight in Arkansas took place near Dover in 1852. John La Mountain, a noted balloonist of the time, flew his balloon "the "Great Western" over the area, an event that was widely covered in the local and national media.
5. The Creation of Mount Nebo State Park
Mount Nebo State Park, located just south of Dover, was created in 1935, as part of the New Deal program that aimed to put Americans back to work during the Great Depression. The park, which sits at the top of a mountain with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, features hiking trails, cabins, and camping areas.
6. The Dover Demon
In 1977, a series of sightings were reported in Dover, which led to the creation of the "Dover Demon," a cryptozoological creature that was supposed to inhabit the area. While the story of the Dover Demon has been widely debunked, it remains a part of the town's folklore.
7. The Arkansas Diamond
In 1906, the largest diamond ever found in North America was discovered in nearby Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Dubbed the "Uncle Sam Diamond," the stone weighed in at 40.23 carats and is now on display at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, roughly an hour's drive from Dover.
In conclusion, Dover, Arkansas is a town that has seen its share of important events, both historical and cultural. From the Trail of Tears to the creation of Mount Nebo State Park, and the natural disaster that swept through the town in 2011, the area around Dover has played a significant role in the history of Arkansas and the United States as a whole.
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