December 08, 2010 Edition

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Powhatan facility to open soon

Lawrence County Historical Society President Lloyd Clark (left) and Dr. Wendy Richter, director of the Arkansas History Commission, complete a deed of gift for records that will be housed in the new Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives facility at Powhatan.
Gretchen Hunt

If all goes as planned, researchers will once again be able to access records for historical and genealogical research at the Powhatan Historic State Park.

Lawrence County Historical Society President Lloyd Clark said the group is thrilled that after years of hard work, the records that were previously stored in the Powhatan Courthouse will again be available.

"We think this will be a bonanza for genealogical and cultural historians who will come here to work and study," Clark said.

A completion meeting for the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives facility was held on Tuesday for the contractor, project architect and officials from Arkansas State Parks and the Arkansas History Commission to inspect the building and be sure it meets the necessary standards.

"We're very pleased that the construction phase of the project has gone smoothly and moved forward ahead of schedule," Dr. Wendy Richter, director of the Arkansas History Commission, said.

In addition, a deed of gift was signed by Clark on Tuesday deeding the documents to the Arkansas History Commission.

"We wish to thank the History Commission for stepping up and running the facility and the present staff at Powhatan for their support and advice," Clark said.

Powhatan Historic State Park Supt. Corinne Fletcher said moving in could begin this week, but it is not yet known when the facility will be open to the public. An official grand opening is expected some time in the spring.

"The History Commission is eager to open the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives to make more information available to researchers in the area," Richter said.

Clark said the completion of this facility is expected to bring at least 1,000 visitors to the county each year to do research.

"We will at last have a state of the art research and preservation facility at Powhatan to replace the one in the old courthouse."

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