South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society & the Newton House Museum
The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society (formerly known as the South Arkansas Historical Foundation) is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit located in El Dorado, Arkansas. The Historical Preservation Society's principal property is the beautiful Newton House Museum. Located on Jackson Street, this historic Greek Revival home has authentic décor that reflects its antebellum construction (circa 1849). As the only antebellum home open to the public in El Dorado, it offers a glimpse into the rich history of southern Arkansas. This museum is a great family attraction and one of the special places to visit while in El Dorado.
The Historical Preservation Society also hosts the annual Mayhaw Festival, history forums, free educational programs (September through May), and a Speakers Series co-sponsored by South Arkansas Community College. Membership is available through the Preservation Society support organization.
LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!
The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society is pleased to announce the opening of our new exhibit “The Fitzgerald Collection”. An opening reception will be held at the Society on Thursday, September 15 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. El Dorado native and avid 30’s, 40’s & 50’s Hollywood collector Michael Fitzgerald (1950 – 2006) spent the better part of his life reliving early Hollywood. He was a lifelong gatherer of movie keepsakes, including photos, posters, lobby cards, studio stills, autographs, magazines, scripts and over 600 16mm films. For more than 20 years, Fitzgerald co-hosted the annual “Jivin’ Jacks and Jills” (named after a dancing/acting group of teenagers who appeared in many 1940’s movies) Hollywood Reunion in Studio City California where the actors and directors would gather and watch old films and reminisce. During these reunions Fitzgerald made some long lasting friendships with several actors like Rosemary Clooney, Rosemary DeKamp and Gary Grey (Lassie’s Timmy).
The Fitzgerald Collection features a sampling of items from the entire collection which is much too vast to display in one exhibit. Many items on display were never meant for public distribution and have rarely been seen by anyone outside of the movie business. The Fitzgerald Collection will be on display until the end of 2016.
In addition to The Fitzgerald Collection the Historical Society has also secured a traveling exhibit from the Arkansas Humanities Council titled “Lights! Camera! Arkansas! This exhibit details Arkansas connection to Hollywood from films that have been shot in our state to actors that have been discovered from our state. This part of the exhibit will be on display until the end of September.
Make plans now to join us at The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society located at 412 E Faulkner in El Dorado for this very unique look at how South Arkansas and Hollywood come together. Our organization maintains the Newton House Museum located at 501 N Jackson Street in El Dorado, AR. The Newton House was constructed circa 1849 and is a premier example of antebellum Greek revival architecture. Tours are available and may be arranged by calling 870-862-9890 or stop by the office any day between Monday – Friday between 8:00AM – 5:00 PM. Membership forms are available at www.soarkhistory.com. Be sure to like the Newton House Museum on Facebook.