Whitewater revisited | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Whitewater revisited

Posted By on Sat, Apr 25, 2009 at 7:00 AM

The New York Times returns to the scene of a non-crime, the Whitewater land development and nearby attractions in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Satisfy your curiosity first — it won’t take long. There’s nothing much at the actual Whitewater property but a meandering stretch of the White River and a dozen or so houses down at the end of a lovely county road. Chris Wade Jr. of Ozarks Realty, whose father was the original agent on the deal and later bought the land, said this month that the last piece of the original subdivision — a three-acre parcel with no water view — could be had for $25,000.

On Main Street in Flippin, Jim and Susan McDougal’s old savings and loan seems to be one of those doomed locations: it was a pizza place for a while, and a doughnut shop, and a cash advance joint, and is now a barbershop.

But the foofaraw is not forgotten. “People still ask me about it all the time,” said John Wilson, an angling guide from nearby Norfork who periodically takes clients along the stretch of river that flows past the old Whitewater property. “I’ve even had people ask to be let out of the boat to pick up a rock to take home with them.”

It's a warm tribute to good fishing, Eureka Springs, waterfalls and other familiar delights.

PS -- Whitewater scholars fault the fact-checking. Jim McDougal had banks in Kingston, Little Rock and Woodruff County, but nobody recalls a branch in Flippin, though the Whitewater land is near there. "He must have gotten his 'facts' from Jeff Gerth," said one.

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