The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society 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 has recently added 1,100 sq ft of exhibition space in our administration building that features rotating exhibits from our permanent collections as well as traveling exhibits through the year.
Spring is in the air and that means that Mayhaw berries will soon be ripe, ready to harvest and make jelly out of. And that, as Martha Stewart would say – “Is a good thing”.
The Mayhaw derives its name from the month that the berries are harvested – May, and the tree from where it comes from – Hawthorn Tree. Primarily found in bottomland and along the river's edge in the southern United States. Mayhaws are a small, round, red, tart fruit (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter). Mayhaw trees are very long-lived, as they can produce fruit for more than 50 years! Native Americans showed little interest in the berries for human consumption, as the fruit was considered too small and had a bitter taste. Not to mention the fact that they were only found in swampy bottomlands pretty much left this fruit for the enjoyment of the wildlife. Still, the fruit was recorded as being used in jellies during the Antebellum times (1600 -1775).
Please plan to join Paula Kinnaird in the kitchen of the Newton House Museum on Tuesday, March 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and learn the “tricks-of-the-trade” to make your own jelly at home. Paula will guide you through all aspects of Mayhaw jelly making process from harvesting the fruit, cleaning and separating berries, preparing a clean and organized kitchen, juice making, jelly making and finally the safe and sanitized bottling procedures. This is sure to be a fun class, there will be some appetizers for you to enjoy featuring the Mayhaw Berry in sweet & unique ways and you are welcome to bring a beverage of your choice to enjoy. Paula says “If you can boil water and count – you can make jelly.” So call the Historical Society today and reserve your spot for this fun “Sippin’ & Stirrin’ Workshop”. The cost for the workshop is only $25.00 and you get to take home a jar of your own Mayhaw Jelly made that evening.