Highlighting Role Of African Americans In Arkansas’s Timber Industry

LITTLE ROCK — Mosaic Templars Cultural Center’s newest exhibit, “Finding Freedom in the Forest: Opportunities and Challenges for African Americans in the Timber Industry,” will open June 15, 2019, during the annual Juneteenth Celebration, and conclude on Aug. 31. This exhibition is a family friendly experience designed to explore the history of the timber industry through the lens of African Americans in Arkansas.

“Finding Freedom in the Forest” will feature engaging topics such as the history of lumber towns in Arkansas and African American soldiers who used skills learned in the logging industry to build trenches in WWI Europe. The exhibit will look at some of the technology that has been used to harvest trees in one of Arkansas’s largest agricultural markets, and visitors will be able to see both antique and modern tools used in the forest.

One of the highlights of the exhibit will be a diorama of 1920s Crossett, Ark., including a working model train and railroad to illustrate the vital role that railroads had on the expansion of the logging industry in Arkansas. A children’s area will encourage kids to inspect leaves, pine needles and bugs with a microscope, hear the sounds and experience the smells of the forest and pretend to drive the vehicles used to harvest trees.

Visitors can learn more about forestry-related programming by visiting the MTCC Facebook page or going to www.mosaictemplarscenter.com.

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating African American history and culture in Arkansas. Other divisions of the Department of Arkansas Heritage include Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum and Old State House Museum.

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