Ghost Town Wednesday: Rush, Arkansas

GhostTownWednesdayIndian legends about long-lost silver mines brought prospectors to Marion County in north central Arkansas during the 1880’s.  News of shiny metallic flakes found in rocks caused a “silver rush”, bringing wealth-seekers from the nearby states of Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky and beyond, including the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.

After a rock smelter was built in 1886 along Rush Creek the first tests conducted in early 1887 proved to be disappointing — at least for those hoping it was silver in “them thar hills”.  Instead, those shiny metallic flakes were found to be another mineral when “green zinc oxide fumes were emitted in a spectacular display”1 — something akin to welding sparks perhaps.  Zinc mining began soon thereafter at the Morning Star Mine.

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  1. Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

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