Plum Bayou ProjectFarmer Lloyd Young hauls hay past the office and community building at the Plum Bayou Project near Pine Bluff (Jefferson County); 1940. (Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Plum Bayou was the first settlement in Arkansas and in the United States (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program). Resettlement Administrator Rexford G. Tugwell, was present at the opening dedication ceremony November 20, 1936. “Tugwell saw the Plum Bayou Project as representative of a new chapter in American agricultural history” (AHPP).
Plum Bayou was available to 183 selected families, 30-40 acres per family. In addition to house, barn, and well, the homes were furnished with a refrigerator and had electricity (Hunter). The community added a community center, a school, gym, library, and vocational center. A few of the original settlers were able to keep their farms and purchase adjoining properties when the community co-op failed in 1946.
Although some of the homesteads remain in use, many houses were moved. Community buildings were re-purposed as education facilities.
Hunter, M. J. (2013). Plum Bayou Project. Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2285. Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Plum Bayou Homesteads. Retrieved from http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/historic-properties/_search_nomination_popup.aspx?id=1578.
Project originally submitted by Susan Allen on February 3, 2014.
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