Black History Month
Eureka Springs Historical Museum honors Black History Month February, 2014.
The museum is featuring a two-part exhibit, one downstairs and one upstairs. The exhibit contains many significant artifacts including hymnals and minutes from the AME Pilgrim's Chapel, a small frame structure situated on Center Street in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It also contains photographs of African Americans in the early years of Eureka springs including Thoro Harris and Richard Banks. Thoro Harris is remembered for the six hundred plus hymns he wrote over his lifetime including 'Jesus Loves the Little Children' (1921).
The Black History Month exhibit showcases a newly acquired painting by Frank Wetherell. It is untitled and features Miss Alice, one of the last african americans from the early days of Eureka Springs. Frank was an architect in Des Moines, Iowa, where he was well known in his field with many public buildings in Des Moines and other Iowa cities among his architectural commissions. He retired in 1931 and moved to Eureka Springs where he painted many Eureka Springs and Ozark scenes between 1932 and 1944. Miss Alice was the daughter of Richard and Annie Fancher, descendents of the Fancher slaves who had been the first to come to Eureka Springs. Miss Alice, her sister Mattie, and Mattie's adopted son, Richard Banks were the last surviving members of a once-large African-American neighborhood, resided in Eureka Springs until their deaths in 1966, 1969, and 1975.*
The Eureka Springs Historical Museum will hold a reception to honor Black History Month on Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 4-6 PM at the Inn of the Ozarks. Attendees will hear more about African Americans in the early days of Eureka Springs from our speakers Jacqueline Froelich and David Zimmerman. They will also see the painting featuring Miss Alice among other artifacts from back in the day.
*Information on the Fancher family courtesy of 'Eureka Springs in Black and White: The Lost History of an African-American Neighborhood' by Jacqueline Froelich.