Fun Facts & Trivia
Part of what makes Genealogy fun and history exciting are the 'little things'. These pages are devoted to those 'little things' that make Camden and Ouachita County uniquely 'home'. If you know of a fun fact or trivia about the area, please share it with us! Contact Carol Smith with your information.
Matthew R. Rothert of Camden, Arkansas
responsible for it's appearance on U.S. paper money.
Photos and trivia
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The internationally known "Grapette" soft drink was developed, bottled and marketed by Benjamin Tyndle (B. T.) Fooks of Camden, Arkansas. The grape-flavored soda that people could enjoy "thirsty or not" - epitomized the American soft drink industry of the 30's, 40's and 50's. Those were the years of the corner grocery; paint-chipped wooden cases rattling with favorite regional brands.
Camark Pottery is a distinctive art pottery,
Camden, Arkansas from 1926 through the 1950's with very limited
production in the 1960's and 1970's. The products of the Camark Pottery
were widely distributed throughout the United States.
Camark Pottery and its History
Arkansas Culture - Camark Pottery
|In God We Trust first appeared on $1
bills on July 25, 1957, and worked its way up to larger
denominations through the '50s and early 1960s as old
presses were retired.
While the first such bills were printed in the 1950s, they were dated 1935, the year of the last major design change.
In the month of August, in 1955, a traveling troupe known as the Louisiana Hayride came to Camden to play at what was called "Muny Hall" (short of Municipal Hall) on Van Buren Street directly across Madison Avenue from R. P. Burnham's Gulf station. They Hayriders came into Camden with the late Webb Pierce as the headliner, and a cast which included Wanda Jackson, Red Sovine, Faron Young, Ray Price and a couple of young guitar players known as Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley.
Mr. Burnham worked at his station that night and could hear many women screaming during Elvis' part of the show. From all reports, Elvis worked his magic on the audience in Camden that night.
In December of 1956, Elvis was on his way to Shreveport, Louisiana to play a Shriners benefit when he stopped at the Burnham Gulf station. With him was Carl Perkins and two other boys in his band. After renewing his friendship with Thomas Rateliff (who had promoted his earlier August 1955 show in Camden), Elvis went over and picked up a couple of sideview mirrors off the shelf and asked Thomas to mount them on his new Cadillac.
While waiting for Thomas to finish the job, Elvis tried to kill time by making some telephone calls to Las Vegas, Nevada, but he couldn't get his calls put through. The local telephone operator just wouldn't believe it when he told her his name was Elvis Presley. He good-naturedly shrugged off not being able to place his calls.
Returning through Camden late the next Sunday afternoon, Elvis stopped back at the station for gas and to purchase another new mirror- some fans had torn the others off his Cadillac even though it had been parked in an underground garage. Mr. Waymond Launius was downtown that same afternoon to show his two young daughters the Christmas lights and let them visit with Santa Claus. Driving into the service station, he recognized Elvis and struck up a conversation with him. Elvis visited with the young family. It was said Elvis loved children and was very happy when he was in their midst.
(Excerpts taken from "Elvis, When the King came to the Queen City" by Mr. R. P. Burnham in the Spring 1977 Ouachita County Historical Quartlery. Mr. Burnham is a well-known retired Camden service station owner, and a U. S. veteran of World War II.)
Southwest of Camden, built in 1879, this Howe truss covered bridge was one of the very few covered bridges built in Arkansas. It was located on the old Magnolia Highway spanning Two Bayou Creek. The bridge stood without anything more than normal maintenance until bypassed by U.S. Route 79 in the 1940's. This bridge was the only one of it's type on a state and federal highway.
Oil was discovered in Arkansas in a well near Stephens
in Ouachita County in April of 1920. During the same month, gas was discovered
in the northern part of the present El Dorado field in Union County by the
Constantin Oil and Refining Company. On January 10, 1921, oil was discovered in
the S. T. Busey well in the same field. This marked the beginning of commercial
oil production in Arkansas.
Oil was discovered on the Charles Richardson land on July 25, 1922 in Ouachita County.
Lieutenant Stokeley Morgan of Camden won fame by firing the first shot in the
Spanish American War at Manila Bay in the Philippines on May 1, 1898.
Senator John L. McClellan
Lived and worked in Camden from 1938 -1944. He was a partner in the Gaughan Law Firm during that period.
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