Swallowed Up in One Gulp: Lost Communities of the Upper Ouachita River Valley
The completion of Blakely Mountain Dam and Lake Ouachita in the mid-1950s resulted in a total and permanent evacuation of a large portion of the upper Ouachita River Valley. As people sold their property and abandoned local communities, life in what once existed as an ordinary rural uplands Arkansas region transformed into an extraordinary experience.
Blakely Mountain Dam was formally dedicated July 4, 1956, more than thirty years after Harvey Couch's announcement of plans to build a series of dams on the Ouachita River. Today, Lake Ouachita's 48,000 acres create one of the state's - and the South's - most popular lakes. Its picturesque setting and recreational opportunities provide not only enjoyment for thousands of people each year but also significant economic benefits to the surrounding area. When partaking of the lake's many amenities, most never consider the upheaval that occurred as a result of the reservoir project's completion decades ago. The construction of three dams on the upper portion of the Ouachita River meant that the area would never be the same.
Arkansas State University
Copyright 2005 Arkansas State University
Ouachita River Valley, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ouachita Lake, Blakely Mountain Dam
Richter, Wendy Bradley, "Swallowed Up in One Gulp: Lost Communities of the Upper Ouachita River Valley" (2005). Books and Monographs. 44.