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.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana wrote these words in his book Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense, published in 1905. Though it has been repeated numerous times in a multitude of ways, the message is clear. If we fail to educate ourselves about our collective histories, we are in peril of repeating them.
As part of SAHPS’ ongoing educational outreach into the community, beginning this September, the 5th grade Gifted and Talented students of the El Dorado School District will experience history first hand.
Collaborating with Beth Sullivan, Gifted and Talented Coordinator for the El Dorado School District, each month throughout the school year, students will spend a day entrenched in the history of El Dorado and the surrounding areas of South Arkansas.
Students will come face to face with history through guided tours of the John Newton House Museum, SAHPS’ archives, audio and visual presentations, even tutorials in making Mayhaw jelly.
When you see and touch articles from the past, they suddenly become real and not just something you read in a textbook. It sparks the desire to learn more about the people and events that helped shape our community, state, country, and the world we live in.
Beth said, “El Dorado Gifted and Talented Department is so excited to work with the Historical Society this year! El Dorado has such a rich history and we want our students to know how special this town is! We look forward to working with Jack and Darrin and the other members of the society as we explore El Dorado's past, present, and future. Thank you so much for this opportunity”.
The Young Play-Writes group of El Dorado High School, under the guidance of English Instructor Bill Meyer, will be creating a new work for the stage inspired by the letters of Joseph A. Dumas to his wife, Druscilla Murphy Dumas, during the Civil War.
Since the Young Play-Writes inception by Teach America Instructor Carol Cabrarra at EHS, students have used their own voice to create plays that opened doorways into their imagination and allowed them to express themselves through fiction. This project is the first time students will use a non-fiction source material to create a play based on the lives of this South Arkansas family.