Log Cabin Democrat

Centennial Edition

History of Faulkner County Towns and Townships

From the LCD Centennial Edition 1873-1973:


"Along a gravel road, under the county road system, just south of Damascus a short three miles lies Pinnacle Springs. Here Cadron Creek tumbles through a series of rock gorges into a series of clear pools. A town of no little size had a hey-day during the 1880s built around some clear spring.

From a hilltop nearby, one can see where the water cut out the soil and Cadron Creek flows out through a wooded valley. Here is a pleasing vista southward across the valley. One looks between and over green hills to some distance and still higher ones on the horizon-tinged blue. Some further, in the northwest, are more distance mountain ranges and all around are portions of the former villages of Pinnacle Springs.

This group of springs was first discovered in 1880 by Jeff Collier, a cow herder employed by James D. Martin. During a hot summer, young Collier rode to Cadron Creek for refreshment as he tended his cattle. Riding up the somewhat sleep ridge he came upon a stream of water flowing from a crevice in the bluff, making a stair-step drop into the creek. Across the creek are two battlement-like turrents or projections (really two small hills which have their north sides eroded away by the cutting action of the creek in eons past) which are about 150 feet in height and which give this area its name.

Young Collier reported his discovery to Martin and the unusual taste that the water from the spring possessed. Later an analysis of the water showed it to be a rare combination of minerals and gases. Carbonate of iron, manganese and chlorine are present.

In the spring of 1881 James Martin held an inauguration ceremony at the site and threw the area open for development. It was thought that the springs had a restorative power. James Martin had divided the town area into three districts: the business district, a residential district and a park.

Soon the town was building. Jess Martin erected the first store here. James Martin erected a home here and moved from Martinville. W.W. Martin and his brother, James, were the owners of Pinnacle House, a fine two-story hotel of 40 rooms at this very famous watering place.

In perhaps five years it had two hotels, a skating rink, eight stores, a cotton gin, a saloon, twelve bath houses and the post office, besides numerous homes. The new town was founded on a press agent's brochure that was sent broadside into surrounding states. The only known extant copy of this work is in such poor condition that is cannot be reproduced.

The Codwell dry goods firm and the Park Willbanks store joined the Martin building as did two shoe shops in the business area. Charles Hendrickson and Rich Fields, a Negro, were the cobblers. Fields' wife did most of the village laundry. It is reported that her earnings often reached $23 per week.

J.D. Mellion owned the drugstore where a Dr. Synuard took offices. Synuard lived east of the creek and rode each day to the townsite. William Firestone opened his brickyard here and grew prosperous as 50 residences were erected before the town failed.

Thompson Brothers ran a sawmill and shingle mill north of the town. The second hotel at Pinnacle Springs was Park House and was operated by W.J. Dodson. The cotton gin and grist mill of Henry Sledge was at the bottom of the mountain to the south and farmers from a 10-mile radius came to have their cotton ginned.

The town has two post office buildings. Thomas P. Gore was appointed postmaster Nov. 2, 1881. In late years the office was located at the top of the mountain. Another postmaster was John Lee, who had as his assistant a young man called Style. The nearby Style ford (site of the North Cadron bridge on Highway 65) was named for this youth's family. Justice of the Peace William Brickey was the town blacksmith. His home and shop were in the southern portion of the village. On the east bank was the saloon. The town had been voted dry, but Amsy Julian merely moved his saloon across the creek on the ferry site.

This ferry was located below the ford in the creek and was large enough to accommodate a team of horses and the wagon. During the dry season the ferry did not operate, because the ford was usable when the creek was dry. This ferry was hand-operated, using ropes and pulley wheels. Traffic coming from Conway during the winter was routed northward from Greenbrier to Guy.

There were three hack lines between Conway and Pinnacle Springs. John Ingram, J.E. Martin and W.S. Terry prospered with business to the resort area. Jun 15, 1882, Terry advertised in the Log Cabin: "W.S. Terry is prepared to run a line of hack to Pinnacle Springs and return either morning or evening and at low rates, inquire for terms at their stable on Main Street east of Jones brick."

The Park was directly above the pellucid springs. This two-acre park was owned by W.W. Martin and was entirely fenced. Inside were covered benches where the tourist could relax and enjoy the view of the Cadron and the east pinnacles. Two-foot sidewalks led down from the hotel to various springs. They had been erected by the Cook family in 1881. Ninety years later only a few feet of these sidewalks exist and are very steep as they lead from spring to spring.

There were 13 of these springs of different waters within a square mile area. These springs had been named by the proprietors of the various bath houses with such names as "Professor's Pool, " "Spring Lake," or "Grotto Bathing Pool." At the springs, which was dammed, a pool was made in the rocks which held several thousand gallons of water. This pool was 70 feet long, 20 feet wide and about eight feet deep. Its location is not discernable today.

We have related the manner in which the town was called for the twin pinnacles on the east bank of the creek. It must be recorded that the author or this name stretched his imagination to the fullest. For about seven miles in this section of the county the creek winds its way back and forth among the various ridges. Many of these projections have also been named. On the east pinnacle is "Hidden Beauty." Further down the creek is the "Owl's Home," next is "Bear Cave." "Alum Bluff, " farther down the creek, has much picturesque beauty.

J.M.C. Vaughter was the village schoolmaster. A Christian church had been established here early in the history of Pinnacle Springs. Arkansas Christian College was organized at Pinnacle Springs Sept. 2, 1889, under its president, William Moseley. This was a junior college effort under Moseley and his wife. The Aug. 3, 1889 Log Cabin said "Pinnacle Springs offers many attractions to those wishing to make their homes in a college community for the purpose of giving their children the best in education advantages. Pinnacle is free of saloons, theatres, and other places so alluring and pernicious."

The first class, and the last, of this college graduated in the first week of June, 1890. It is thought that the lack of a proper transportation system led to the closing of the school, for it was a four-hour trip by hack from Conway.

Eller Little of this community relates: "After 1890 the town began to slide into a depression and was the attraction of immoral people for miles around. The decent people had to leave on this account and settled in the nearby communities of Guy, Damascus and Martinville."

The post offices closed Sept. 30, 1891. All traces of the many buildings that stood here have disappeared. It is difficult to find the foundation stones of many of them. Some of the buildings were moved to nearby Martinville, renamed from Cadron Cove, for W.W. Martin.

All that remains are many names carved along the rock steps, with dates, of newly married couples who came to this area to spend their honeymoon. Little more than pasture and the forest and the deeply embedded creek remain of its former beauty. One of two of the springs have little more that a stagnant trickle. A memorial tabernacle has been erected here."

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