Saturday, January 22, 2011

Big Fork Hotel and Post Office Visited by Professor and Geologist, Samuel Calvin

About 1880, a professor of Natural Science at the University of Iowa and geologist, Samuel Calvin came to Polk County to photograph the rock formations.  His gallery includes photos taken east of Mena which are mostly of geological formations in the woods.  Fortunately for us who are interested in Big Fork,  he took this photo of the early hotel and post office that served the community at that time.   As of yet, I haven't been able to identify the three people on the porch. 

Samuel Calvin was born in 1840 in Scotland and died while teaching at the University of Iowa in 1911.  You can read his biography and see his photos at:
Go to "Calvin's Scrapbook" and look under "Buildings".  Scroll down and Voila!

If you want to see the geological images he took east of Mena, go to "Calvin's Image Database".  Under "Geology of U.S. and Canada-Place of Interest" select "Arkansas" from the drop down menu and click "Go".  There you will see seven photos of rock formations and a waterfall characteristic of Polk County.

1 comment:

  1. I found a record on Ancestry showing Polk County, Ark., postmasters in the 1800s. It appears that during the time this geologist was visiting Big Fork, the postmaster was Thompson Shed (appointed 4 April 1876, if I am reading the handwriting correctly). The next postmaster appears to have been Lewis J. Hendricks, appointed 8 June 1882. Prior to them, Pinckney Hooper was appointed 18 April 1872, and George V. Bates was appointed 25 June 1875. I don't see an email address here or I would send you a jpg of this document.