Lakeport Legacies History Talks

Lakeport Legacies, a monthly history talk focusing on history in the Delta, has released its 2017 schedule. Speakers will discuss a wide-range of Delta topics including, a history of one of Arkansas’s oldest African American churches, the Civil War in the Mississippi Delta, and a look at the Polk family’s plantations and investments from Tennessee to the Delta.

Lakeport-Legacies 2The first Lakeport Legacies history talk will be held on March30 and will feature Dr. Blake Wintory, director of the Lakeport Plantation. Dr. Wintory will present, “Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas.”

Belmont Plantation,1936 Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress
Belmont Plantation,1936
Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress
Willoughby Plantation 1925
Willoughby Plantation, ca 1925 (not the Worthingtons in the picture)

Although the Mississippi River divides Washington County, Mississippi and Chicot County, Arkansas, their histories are intertwined. Kentuckians like the Johnsons, Wards and Worthingtons, settled in both counties in the 1820s and 1830s. Decades later, the families displayed the optimism and prosperity of Antebellum plantation life with the construction of large plantation house.

The Johnson and Worthington families built stylish Italianate and Greek Revival homes in this era: Mount Holly (ca. 1856), Belmont (1857); Willoughby (1858), and Lakeport (1859).

Willoughby Plantation, ca 1920 Both Courtesy of Special Collections William Alexander Percy Memorial Library
Willoughby Plantation, ca 1920
Both Courtesy of Special Collections William Alexander Percy Memorial Library

A careful restoration of Lakeport by Arkansas State University and thorough research of neighboring plantations suggests a group of carpenters from Madison, Indiana constructed several homes for the Johnsons and Worthingtons. This research thus reveals that Kentucky planters in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta reached back to the Ohio Valley (Kentucky and Indiana) for materials and builders of their iconic “Southern” homes.

Courtesy of Doris Johnson & Lakeport Plantation
Lakeport Plantation 1914 and 2008 Courtesy: Doris Johnson & Lakeport Plantation

The Lakeport Plantation is located at 601 Hwy 142 in Lake Village. For more information call 870.265.6031 or visit the Lakeport Plantation website.

 

 

 

 

Lakeport Legacies 2017 Schedule

March 30 · Building Delta Plantations: Connecting Washington County, Mississippi, and Chicot County, Arkansas · Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

April 28-29 · In leiu of Lakeport Legacies · Behind the Big House w/ Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project (Joint Program of Preserve Arkansas & Lakeport Plantation)

May 25 · An Unconventional Conveyance: Rev. Jim Kelly and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church · Reverend Demetria L. Edwards, M.Div., J.D. (New Hope Missionary Baptist Church) and Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation)

June 29 · A Case Study in Diversity: Southeast Arkansas Legislators, 1868-Jim Crow · Rodney Harris (University of Arkansas)

July 27 · Ironclads, Cotton and Corn: The Civil War in the Mississippi Delta · Jim Woodrick (Mississippi Department of Archives and History)

August 31 · Grasping Shadows: Evolution of the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum · Emily Jones (Delta State University Archives & Museum)

September 28 · The Polks’ Plantations and the Creation of Cotton Kingdom in the Old South · Dr. Kelly Jones (Austin Peay State University)

October 19 · Influence of Southeast Arkansas in the Arkansas Historical Association · Maylon Rice (Arkansas Historical Association). The program on Third Thursday and will start at 5:30.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Blake Wintory 870.265.6031

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