Arkadelphia News

HSU alum Dr. Beverly Watkins to speak on historic salt works for Arkansas Archeological Society

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March is Arkansas Archeology Month, and there are events across the state to encourage public interest in Arkansas’ long archeological record and appreciation for historic preservation. The Ouachita Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society celebrates archeology with a special presentation by Dr. Beverly Watkins on “Historic Salt Works in Arkansas, 1819-1865” at their next meeting. This talk will be held on Tuesday, March 7 th at 7:00 p.m. in the board room at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts (200 Whittington, Hot Springs). The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Beverly Watkins will give a special presentation on “Historic Salt Works in Arkansas, 1819-1865.”

This talk takes a whirlwind tour of historic salt works, some known and some not yet located. It also looks in detail at several small commercial salt works that operated in Arkansas to meet the needs of nearby communities.

Dr. Beverly Watkins earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Henderson State College (1968), and went on to earn a Master of Arts (1975) and PhD (1985), both in American History and both from Auburn University. She worked for the Arkansas Archeological Survey for 14 years as a volunteer, as the Station Assistant/Lab Manager at the Southern Arkansas University research station, and as the Historian for the Sponsored Research Program in Fayetteville. She also worked as Archivist for the National Archives Great Lakes Region in Chicago. Dr. Watkins finished her working life as a United Methodist minister, having received a Masters of Divinity (2000) from Memphis Theological Seminary. Now retired, she is pursuing several historic research projects just for fun, including the salt works project.

Sherri Bradbury with display of tools for recording archeological sites at Mid-America Science Museum.

Ouachita Chapter members installed a temporary exhibit at Mid-America Science Museum (500 Mid America Blvd., Hot Springs) for the month of March. It features artifacts from the Garland County area and information about local history and the science of archeology.

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