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The Arkadelphia Boy Scout Hut is a log building located in Central Park in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Constructed by local boys and members of the National Youth Administration (NYA) in 1938–39, the Rustic-style building is owned by the city and used by various Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 28, 2002.
The NYA was a New Deal agency created to offer employment opportunities for youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. Construction of the hut was supervised by Edwin Dean, the district supervisor from Camden (Ouachita County), and Edward Wyate, the supervisor from Hope (Hempstead County). The local foreman was A. F. Bishop of Arkadelphia, who supervised the thirty local young men who worked on the project. The city, chamber of commerce, and school district all worked to provide workers for the project. Local businesses and the Arkadelphia Rotary Club provided equipment and materials. The Arkansas Highway Department and the city provided trucks, while the National Youth Administration provided cement and use of a truck.
Work began on the building in September 1938 and continued intermittently until the structure was completed the following June. The rectangular building is fifty-six by thirty-three feet. The structure sits on a continuous concrete foundation. The building is constructed of pine logs stripped, stained, and treated with creosote; the logs were then chinked with concrete. The hut faces southeast and is fronted by a gabled front porch. The porch roof is supported by a large log post at either end. Two doors are centered on the porch. Two pairs of windows are on the front of the building, and additional windows are located on both sides and the rear of the building. The original wooden-frame windows were replaced by aluminum-frame windows in the 1970s. Each window is covered by green wooden exterior shutters and a set of wooden interior shutters. The rear of the building includes a small cinderblock bathroom added in the 1970s.
The interior of the cabin is rustic, with a stone central fireplace serving as the focal point. The building is divided into two pens, each with an exterior door leading to the front porch. An open sleeping loft is located above the north pen. The cabin is wired with electricity, which likely was done when it was constructed.
Upon construction of the building, two Boy Scout troops began to use the facility for meetings. Girl Scout troops began to use the building for meetings by the 1950s, and several units, including Cub Scouts, have held gatherings there over the decades. The hut is located along North 8th Street between the campuses of Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University.
For additional information:
“Arkadelphia Boy Scout Hut.” National Register for Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/CL0943.nr.pdf (accessed March 9, 2018).
“Boy Scout Cabin Finished, Turned Over to the City by Officers of the NYA.” Daily Siftings Herald, June 24, 1939.
“Work on Boy Scout Cabin is Under Way.” Daily Siftings Herald, September 8, 1938.
Henderson State University
Last Updated 3/9/2018
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