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South Shore of Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas
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Comments Made by Dr. Steven G. Sanders at the South Shore Memory Project Open House
May, 1999

Thank you very much. I am very pleased to be here to recognize the work of the students from the Flippin School system who have made the South Shore Memory Project a reality. I wish also to congratulate Dr. Allen Benson, the recipient of the South Shore Foundation Grant. His vision and hard work have lead to this project, which beautifully illustrates what the Trustees at the Foundation envision for the South Shore region of Arkansas. I also would like to express specific appreciation to Dr. Ed Coulter for his work in building a local University which can provide the academic support so necessary for the economic and spiritual vitality of a community such as Flippin and the South Shore.

In our history books the White River can be found as one of the major rivers of the Nation serving as the major source of drainage for the Ozark Plateau. The South Shore is the heart of this historic region. The first written record of the area can be found in the Rude Pursuits and Rugged Peaks, Henry Rowe Schoolcrafts Ozark Journal 1818-1819. McGary’s Cabin at the mouth of the Little Norfork 20 miles upstream from what is now the town of Bull Shoals, AR described the bull shoals as "an awesome spot in the river. It had a fall of fifteen to twenty feet in a distance of a half mile and the water rushes with astonishing velocity and incessant noise."

If you peruse the Journal, which has recently been republished by the University of Arkansas, you find much mention of cabins along the rivers built by the hunter trappers who first opened the river area. These peoples' presence here in the early 1800s would have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for Schoolcraft.

In 1994, James F. Keefe and Lynn Morrow and the University of Arkansas Press published The White River Chronicles of S.C. Turnbo. The editors selected 425 pages of the 2487 pages of typed material collected by Turnbo to illustrate the times and events taking place in what is now the South Shore during the period from 1815 to 1865. The original manuscripts are now held in the central library in Springfield, Missouri.

The South Shore Memory Project continues this rather proud tradition of recording the local experiences of happenings in the South Shore for future generations. However, it adds a new element which we at the Foundation believe is extremely important for this region of the state - it uses advanced digital information technology.

The Foundation believes that it is very important to develop the new digital information technologies in the South Shore so that the region can grow into one having a strong economy for the benefit of its residents while at the same time being environmentally friendly so that this unspoiled area of the country remains that way. However, for this goal to be achieved we must have local schools which teach this new technology thereby creating a labor pool that can support the growth of these technologies.

I read a recent press release that indicated that the Flippin School has received a $95,000 grant to develop a multi-media lab which will allow the school to continue the Memory Project. The "seed money" provided by the South Shore Foundation to Arkansas State University at Mountain Home has lead to yet another grant which will ultimately lead to students having specific skills in the digital information sciences. These skills will be preparing them for work in the technical areas where job demand is highest in today’s economy, and they should lead to the development of the skilled labor force we so desperately need.

We at the Foundation could not be happier and we hope to see similar proposals from other groups in the South Shore which we can support.

 
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