Favorite

More from the new Arkansas encyclopedia 

OFFICIAL VESSEL: The dutch oven.
  • OFFICIAL VESSEL: The dutch oven.

Officially strange



This is the third in a series on the new Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, by senior editor Nathania Sawyer.

When the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture launched, it had approximately 700 entries. New entries are being added each week, and we project a total of 3,500 to 4,000 entries by the time the project is completed in 2010.

Among the entries in progress are several of the “official state” icons. Did you know that Arkansas has an official state soil? Or that the Dutch oven is the official state cooking vessel?

Here are some of our “officials”:

Anthem — “Arkansas”

Beverage — Milk

Bird — Mockingbird

Cooking Vessel — Dutch Oven

Dance — Square Dance

Flower — Apple Blossom

Fruit and Vegetable — South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato

Gem — Diamond

Insect — Honeybee

Instrument — Fiddle

Mammal — Whitetail Deer

Mineral — Quartz Crystal

Nickname — “The Natural State”

Rock — Bauxite

Soil — Stuttgart Soil Series

Songs — “Oh Arkansas” and “Arkansas You Run Deep in Me”

Tree — Loblolly Pine

The stories behind how these items came to be designated “official” are sometimes colorful. For example, the apple blossom almost lost out to the passion flower in 1901. Mrs. Ed Barton of Searcy is largely credited with the apple blossom’s victory. She personally wrote letters to legislators extolling the virtues of the apple blossom. She also presented each legislator with a shiny red apple along with a note stating, “These are the results of our beautiful apple blossoms, but what is the results of a passion flower? A dried shriveled pod!”


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

  • Friday's headlines and your holiday open line

    What happened at the State Board of Education and what does it mean; Legislation filed for Hutchinson's government reorganization plan; Pediatric flu-related death in Arkansas reported; Suspect arrested in unsolved 2008 North Little Rock homicide.
    • Dec 21, 2018
  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "Juice In Your Own Life"

    In this week’s episode, Charles and Antwan provide perspective and conversation on the Little Rock Mayoral Election and State Board of Education’s consideration of the anticipated request to waive the Fair Teacher Dismissal Act. In addition, Charles and Antwan discuss all things happening in the Little Rock School District with Superintendent Michael Poore.
    • Dec 11, 2018
  • End of the week headlines and your open line

    Alderman candidate misses chance to cast deciding vote for himself in runoff election; Dem-Gaz to phase out print delivery in El Dorado, Camden and Magnolia; Rapert threatens UA Fort Smith over 'Drag Queen Story Time' event; The Van seeks to raise $35,000 in three weeks for new warehouse facility in South Little Rock.
    • Dec 7, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Scrubbed from the system

    • I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 1 month after I turned 45. My grandma is…

    • on January 22, 2019
  • Re: Hep A still spreading

    • I am so so happy today, I have been suffering from hepatitis b for the…

    • on January 21, 2019
  • Re: Hep A still spreading

    • I am really happy that i have been cured from (HEPATITIS B VIRUS) with the…

    • on January 21, 2019
 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation