Morrison and Eppinette, Historical Ouachita County, p. 54

Railroads


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When railroads were built to Camden, steamboat transportation gradually gave way to the services supplied by steam locomotives. Powerful steam engines tied Ouachita County to the rest of the nation after the building of the Cotton Belt railroad to Camden in the 1880's. The shute for loading coal for fuel for the locomotives was located near the Ouachita River.

Photograph Courtesy of Imogene Beard


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The Cotton Belt Railroad Depot, erected in 1903, stood at the Washington Street Crossing. The arrival of each train was met by horse-drawn hacks from local livery stables to provide transport up the hill into Camden.

Photograph Courtesy of Imogene Beard


 

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Off the main lines, tram railroads radiated into surrounding forrests to bring logs to sawmills throughout Ouachita County.

(Left) Photograph from the private collection of Larry Morrison

(Right) Photograph Courtesy of Clay Hale


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A Freo Valley Railroad engine is stopped in front of the Eagle Mills Depot about 1920.

Photograph Courtesy of Clay Hale


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Cotton Belt engine #767 is shown pulling five Southern Pacific locmotives in an train of locomotives called the "Prosperity Special." Three more trains like these were brought through Camden, Arkansas, about 1922 enroute to the west coast. John Beard of Eagle Mills is operating the motor car to the right of the locomotives.

Photograph Courtesy of Imogene Beard


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Train wrecks have marked the railroad history of Ouachita County. This 1922 wreck occurred near the sawmill community of Onalaska, which was located between Camden and Bearden.

Photograph Courtesy of Imogene Beard


 

 

 

 

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