Along the Arkansas backgrounds you can find the remnants of old barns and farms strewn about with decaying structures well past their prime. Each tells a story of someone who once was and a way of life long since passed. But not every day do you find an entire city left behind in time.
It is only through these stories that you can fully understand the fabric of Arkansas through the eyes of its past.
Welcome to the ghost town of Rush.
Flanking the Buffalo River, this community once was a thriving zinc mining area. In the 1880s, zinc was first discovered on Rush Creek and nearby Clabber Creek. With money to be made, people quickly flocked to the area and the town of Rush was born. By the 1890s the community was thriving and populated with many businesses, homes and auxiliary structures related to the mines.
Homesteads stretched for miles and utilized the waterways around the Buffalo for resource instead of recreation, more popular today. Roadways surrounded the community making it easier to maneuver throughout and day to day life was ordinary in this community.
The most infamous, Morning Star Mine thrived well up til World War 1, where it was heavily used for sourcing materials. By the second World War however production in the mines had dwindled and production mills were slowly phased out and scrapped.
The once thriving community started to see residents pack up and move away as they sought out new opportunities. Slowly but surely businesses closed, homes were left abandoned and by the 1950s the post office delivered its final bits of mail.
Like most communities, when a post office departs it seals the death certificate and through so hung on until the mid 1960s the hope to reestablish Rush as its former glory ended all together when the final residents opted to leave for neighboring larger communities.
Rush, like so many became a shell of itself and fell into disrepair. The once thriving businesses saw their ceilings start to collapse under the weight of their failures, the homes began to wafer in the winds and flooding of the Buffalo claimed many of the structures. Windows were broken in remaining buildings, roadways grew over with grass as the land began to take back its space and for a while Rush was completely forgotten in time.
Some many years later with the official naming of the Buffalo National River to the National Park Service Registry, the community of Rush was reimagined to the public. Mines were sealed to make safe, securing of some of the remaining structures occurred and signage was added to the site to establish it as a part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Now guests can come to the site and see all that remains of this once thriving community along the Buffalo National River. Through walking trails and a driving tour you can hear the stories of the community and think back to what it would have been to be a part of this boomtown in Arkansas at that time.
Locations like these dwindle with age each year, it is through the preservation that we still can occasionally catch a glimpse of the history which once housed many, allowed jobs in a time of need and the struggles and burdens of what it was to be alive during this time. And through the bones of the ghost town you can but for a moment remember the town of Rush.
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