A month or so ago, I could tell Grady needed a vacation, so I planned what I thought would be an easy get away to the nearby Mountain Harbor Resort on Lake Ouachita. It’s a place full of memories for our family.
It has been a long time since we have been on this man-made, 62.5-mile lake. The mobile homes and campers, though still there, are mostly replaced with luxury condos, and the 200 islands out in the lake that were once littered with tents and camp sites now have huge houseboats beached on their shores.
Though I selfishly like to keep Arkansas a secret (lest our “Natural State” become overcrowded with careless visitors), I feel like this clean lake, with it’s fascinating history, is worthy of a share to my blog readers and FAB customers who like to fish, camp, boat, scuba dive and water ski.
The Fascinating History of Lake Ouachita
It took decades to make the three, cascading lakes of Ouachita, Hamilton and Catherine. County and state roads, including short portions of State Highway 27 and U.S. Highway 270 were rerouted, trees were harvested, and cemeteries within the planned reservoir were moved to new locations. A few remains were found in the 1200 or so graves exhumed, and the personal items found in burial sites included a man’s watch, a celluloid collar and cuffs, and a “mustache cup of ancient vintage.” Railroad tracks and some of the small towns in the area purchased by the electric company are still sitting at the bottom of the lake, making it a unique scuba diving destination.
In our publication, Brave Magazine, is the story of a local hero named Adam Brown, a Navy Seal, who died in Afghanistan. He now has an under water memorial in Lake Ouachita. Divers interested in visiting the underwater memorial can visit this site for a map and coordinates.
Rather than rewrite all the interesting lore about this area of Arkansas, I will just let you read it on your own by following the above links and visiting lakeouachitavistatrail.org.
As for it being a relaxing vacation, well, you know what they say: “I need a vacation from my vacation.”