Ozark Heritage Arts Center And Museum

410 Oak St
Leslie, AR 72645

870-448-2557

History:
The heritage museum houses four rooms of items and artifacts from the area, from an 1820’s loom to typing-class typewriters, cheerleader outfits and a dentist office from the mid-twentieth century. In 1955, Colliers Magazine proclaimed Leslie the whittling capital of America, a statement echoed by the New York Times in 1988, which means the collection wouldn’t be complete without some photos of the whittlers and a selection of their knives. Each of the rooms has a general theme, from life in the 1800s to the boom years of Leslie, as well as life in the outlying communities and the tools and implements for farm life. Railroads and the timber industry were vital to the development of the area, and each is explored through materials from the period.

The collection also includes items such as a fiddle used by local resident Abbie Morrison (who, with his twin brother, Apsie, performed the first song ever at the Grand Old Opry and who is now in the Country Music Hall of Fame), an apple press from the former 30,000-tree fruit orchard east of the city, a number of carvings such as a stagecoach and team and dress canes from the whittlers, a time-stamp machine from the local M&NA railroad office, postal scales and ledgers reflecting births, deaths and taxes during the town’s boom years, and photos of past residents as they lived and created the heritage of the area.

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