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The Lonoke County Museum is located in Lonoke (Lonoke County) in rural central Arkansas. The mission of the museum is to identify, collect, and preserve artifacts and records of Lonoke County and to educate the public. Local citizens formed a non-profit organization in 1998 to establish this permanent museum. The museum occupies the historic Scott Building, donated by the Bennett family in honor of J. O. (“Pete”) and Gertrude Bennett. The building—previously a residence, a doctor’s office, and a car dealership—is in the Lonoke Historic District. Roof repairs funded by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program revealed Spanish oak timbers, which date the building back to the early 1880s.
The museum includes a genealogy center and exhibits depicting major events from local history, such as the building of the railroad from Memphis, Tennessee, to Little Rock (Pulaski County); the Cherokee Trail of Tears; and the Civil War–era Military Road across the county. There are four three-dimensional scale models (dioramas). The first depicts the Civil War Skirmish at Brownsville, a battle in the Union’s Little Rock Campaign. The Native American diorama depicts the Indian mounds at the Toltec site in Lonoke County. A third diorama portrays the town of Lonoke in the late 1890s. The Eberts Field diorama depicts a local airfield and the “Flying Jenny” airplanes of World War I. The museum also includes a replica of a frontier town.
The genealogy center includes photographs, Bibles, scrapbooks, and diaries. The center has a collection of maps spanning two centuries. The collection includes cemetery headstone books and marriage records for both Lonoke and Pulaski counties, which continue to be updated by volunteers. The collection also includes marriage records, court records, and abstracts from local newspapers from 1873 through 1965.
The museum also publishes a quarterly newsletter providing an ongoing status report and articles on local history.
For additional information: “Lonoke County History Preserved: Museum Grand Opening Scheduled.” Lonoke Democrat, October 11, 2007.
Lonoke County Museum. http://www.ipa.net/~jack5/Lonoke_Countyx.html (accessed April 30, 2014).
“Spotlight on Lonoke County. Lonoke County Museum Tells It All.” Lonoke Democrat, April 30, 2009.
“Spotlight on Lonoke County: Lonoke History Kept Alive.” Lonoke Democrat, April 25, 2008.
Sherryl MillerLonoke County Museum
Last Updated 4/30/2014
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