Lake Dick Resettlement CommunityLake Dick project houses. (Courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission)
Lake Dick was a Resettlement project, part of the efforts to help sharecroppers establish their own farms. The Resettlement Administration purchased 3, 453 acres, built “80 houses, six community buildings, and several farm support structures” for a cooperative farm (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program).
Eighty white farm families, who had been either sharecroppers or tenant farmers, from 29 Arkansas counties were selected by the Farm Security Administration to take part in the cooperative. The cooperative was designed for each farmer to have his house, with a small plot of land for vegetables, but the remaining acreage was to be farmed jointly. In this way, it was intended to give the benefit of large-scale farming, while still enabling the farmers to have cash income by sharing in the profits. In addition to farming cash crops, they had a livestock operation, and timbering.
A third of the original structures remain, including 21 houses, mule barn, and other community buildings, including the school gymnasium. The co-op was dissolved in 1946 and the land sold to an individual. It is currently on the National Register of Historic Places, and is significant as the only farming cooperative attempted in Arkansas, and one of few during the Resettlement Administration/Farm Security Administration efforts to assist farmers.
Christ, M. K., & Slater, C. H. (2000). Sentinels of History: Reflections on Arkansas Properties in the National Register of Historic Places. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas. Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Lake Dick, Altheimer vicinity, Jefferson County. Retrieved from http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/historic-properties/_search_nomination_popup.aspx?id=1555. Norman, B. (2013). Lake Dick. Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=537.
Project originally submitted by Susan Allen on February 3, 2014.
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