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Eureka Springs, AR/War Eagle Mill

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 16-10-2009


There is no place like home, and we are glad to be back. But, we’re glad we were able to visit a few places. My wife is a Van Winkle and our daughter and son-in-law were with us. So, while we were at Eureka Springs we also toured War Eagle Mill, a working water powered grist mill, with a Bean Palace on the Third Floor. They were getting ready for the annual arts and craft fair that they have every October. And about a mile down from War Eagle Mill on Highway 12, is Van Winkle hollow.(Stop at the rest area for directions.)  Peter Van Winkle had a sawmill in the 1880’s and a lovely home there. Not much remains nowadays, except some National Historic Markers  telling where the house place  was, where the mill was located, slave quarters (Arron, called Rock, was freed and considered a family member. He had 12 children, and had pictures taken with the family). The remains of a flower garden and a spring house, etc. located on  a good all weather pathway.  A beautiful little creek runs through the place, a clear stream of beautiful fast flowing water, having  a small bridge to walk over it. My wife and daughter, the great-grand daughter and great-great-grand daughter of Peter Van Winkle felt a deep kinship with that hollow and it touched me to see them embelish each informative plaque and touch the trees and rocks around the place. There is a picture of the home on one of the plaques and we were able to see trees that we think were there when Peter lived there. You know,  we saw shows in Branson and Eureka Springs, visited the Christ of the Ozarks, saw the site of the Passion Play and sat for a while in Thorncrown Chapel, and we all felt God’s closeness while praying there…..But I believe I was more touched watching my wife and daughter visit Van Winkle Hollow….. Peter’s sawmill cut a lot of the lumber used in the construction of the University of Arkansas. When he died a special train brought his body down from Rogers, AR to Fayetteville. He is buried in the Evergreen cemetery near the University campus. We also visited his plot there, where Peter, his wife Temperance, grand daughter Cora and I think his great-grand daughter Ruth are all buried. Well, all this is probably not important or interesting to you, but I know that you also have times when you are touched by your ancestors and visit to old home sites, etc, and I just wanted to share this special time with you. It will stay in our hearts forever…… Pete Hester

Comments (7)

I am also a descendant of Peter VW — His daughter Mary who married Capt Jack Steele was my great grandmother. I would like to hear from you in regard to which of Peter’s children is your wife’s ancestor.. He had such an interesting family………
I also love to visit Van Hollow and enjoy a special feeling of closeness to the lives of our special ancestors who lived there.
Marilyn Larner Hicks..

Marilyn, thank you so much for your comments. My wife is Pike’s daughter Helen and just this morning our daughter Kim and husband Lyndon Denton were reading your book on the Van Winkle’s. You did a wonderful job on that book and I am sure you put in many hours getting it together. And yes, isn’t that a wonderful place to visit…to stroll down the lane by “Little Cliffy Creek” and to enjoy it’s serene feeling one gets just being there. You can contact me at pete@hesterbooks.com or at phhester6@aol.com. Good to hear from you. By the way, we had our trip scheduled for some time and the Van Winkle’s had a Oct 9 and 10 reunion that we missed due to out prearranged trip. Please visit me at hesterbooks.com any time you can. E. V. Pete Hester

I am so glad you and Helen made it to Van Winkle Hollow. I travel there from Odessa, TX every chance I get to visit my roots as well. What a sense of dignity and power come over me while strolling where my ancestors trod.

Thank you, Pam. It was good to hear from you. Already my no. 2 son and I are taking about a trip up there for next summer. I agree with the sense of dignity and power, but to me it came from my daughter and wife enjoying the moment. How relaxing that stroll back through time is. It seems to me to be history in each step. Come back and visit my site any time. I appreciate the comment. Pete Hester

As soon as I replied before I checked my PAF files and realized who you were…… I am so glad you, Helen and daughter experienced the hollow after the trails were put in. Pam and I were last there for the dedication of the new visitor center down the highway from the trails. Since you did not mention it I gather you did not take it in. Do put it on your list for next summer. Steve’s office is there and Peter is appropriately covered. It is a grand place.
Thank you for the mention of my book. It was a labor of love and has served it’s purpose of sharing Peter’s place in history with his descendants altho it is full of errors — typing, spelling etc…… I rushed it to the prnters when I was first diagnosed with lymphoma — and now have licked that 4 times and am certainly richly blessed.
Sorry you missed the reunion. Pam, Val and I certainly enjoyed the one we attended of Wallace’s family in Ruidosa. Marilyn I have made note of your email. My email is Larnermlh@aol.com

Hi Pete, It was nice meeting you yesterday over at Jeff’s. I just wanted you to know that I stopped by your blog. SOunds like you had a nice trip.

Rich, thanks for the comment. Did you leave me a link? If so I missed it. Hope to see you Sunday. Pete

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