Tuesday, September 25, 2012

capital lock

We headed out this morning to see the capital of Arkansas.  We also made a couple of other stops on the way back. 

The Arkansas State Capitol was constructed between 1899 and 1915 on the site of the old state penitentiary using prison labor.  The original construction cost was not to exceed $1 million. After two architects, two general contractors, six Capitol Commissions and three governors, the completed Capitol cost almost $2.3 million. In 1911, the General Assembly convened in the unfinished building for their first session at the new State Capitol.

The neo-classical style of the building is a common example of monumental architecture of the early 20th century. The marble on the floors and walls came from Vermont, the columns from Colorado, and the grand staircases from Alabama.  The exterior limestone was quarried near Batesville, Arkansas while a softer Indiana limestone was used for the dome.  The Capitol contains 247,000 square feet. The distance from ground level to the top of the cupola is 213 feet. The cupola is covered in gold leaf.



 We go by these buildings when we head into Little Rock and wonder what they are all about so I looked them up on line and was fascinated by what I found.  

Corrugated tin building with hopper in Stuttgart, Arkansas.  Stuttgart is the rice capital of the World.

Rice took hold in the Stuttgart area in 1902, when W. E. (Bill) Hope planted a small plot of rice as an experiment; it yielded 139 bushels per acre, though Hope often had to contend with people who pulled up the stalks for souvenirs. On March 9, 1907, the Stuttgart Rice Mill Company was incorporated. The mill was completed in October 1907 and reported a profit of $16,000 on the first season’s crops.
A group of Arkansas rice farmers banded together to market their crops and in 1921 created a farmers’ cooperative business group, which is now known as Riceland Foods, Inc., and is headquartered at Stuttgart. Riceland has grown to become the world’s largest rice miller and rice marketer; it provides marketing services for rice products, soybeans, and wheat, and has become a major soybean processor, rice exporter, and oil producer.

 This lock is located near our camp site and is called the Murray Damn and Lock #7,  It is one of 18 locks constructed in this system. It is also 125 miles from the end point in the Mississippi River.
 Four hundred and forty-five miles long and 18 locks and dams, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) is a reliable, year-round water way into the Southwest.  Essentially a series of navigation pools connected by locks, the water way enables vessels to overcome a 420-foot difference in elevation from the Mississippi River to the head of navigation in Oklahoma.
the Arkansas River is on of the Mississippi's largest tributaries.  It flows 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado through the Royal Gorge, on through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas to its confluence with the Mississippi River.
The Arkansas River is very shallow through Arkansas and Oklahoma, and was naturally incapable of supporting river traffic through most of the year. To allow for navigation, construction was started in 1963 on a system of channels and locks to connect the many reservoirs along the length of the Arkansas River. 

The pics below:
We must think, people and put things in the right order of importance.  Someone who throws a ball in a hoop, really, for a living and someone who puts his life on the line for our freedom.  No wonder our country is heading in the wrong direction.  We are not placing important sacrifices in the correct order.


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