Pictured above is one of the “gold” mines of Arkansas. This is one of many prospect holes dug in the Ouachita Mountains around 1886 when investors fell victim to the first documented Arkansas gold scam. It’s located in the Charlton Campground just west of Mt. Ida in the Ouachita Mountains. The reality is no gold in commercially minable quantities has ever been found in Arkansas.
Scams involving gold and other precious metals are not unique to the state, but they have been a recurring problem, as recently as the mid 1980s. The scams, in a nutshell, consist of staking out a claim on a piece of land, obtaining falsified assay reports that show inflated values of precious metals, and then duping investors into buying parts of the claim.
Though it’s hard to imagine falling victim to such a scheme, the con-men have historically been quite successful. As rumors spread, more and more people rush to get in on the bonanza. By the time the dust starts to settle, the original instigators are gone and so is everyone’s money.
Pictured above are tracks of an Acrocanthosauras Atokensis: a bi-pedal predatory dinosaur. The tracks were discovered in 2011 in a gypsum mine north of Nashville Arkansas by workers at the mine. It is one of two such “dinosaur trackways” – as they are called – that have been discovered in this mine; The first one was unearthed in 1983. Dinosaur tracks are not common in Arkansas as most of the rocks here, which are very old, were deposited long before the dinosaurs existed.
The rocks where the tracks are preserved were deposited in the early Cretaceous Period sometime between 145 and 100 million years ago. At that time, the area south of the Ouachita Mountains was a broad coastal plain and the Gulf of Mexico waters reached all the way to southern Arkansas. A variety of dinosaur species tracks, both herbivore and carnivore, have been discovered in these trackways, indicating that the coastal area at that time was quite the dinosaur stomping ground.