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INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:31 pm

Hi Forum,

I got another wonderful postcard from ebay. It is dated September 14, 1971. The message here is a little more cryptic. Wonder if you can figure it out. The postcard holds a beautiful arial view of the Thunderbird Center a pool. It shows the pool, recreation center, and the edge of Lake Thunderbird. The postcard heading reads:

CHEROKEE VILLAGE, ARKANSAS

The beautiful new Thunderbird Recreation Center, located on Lake Thunderbird, is paradise for family pleasure. Equipped with an Olympic-size swimming pool, men's and women's dressing rooms, a recreation room, and an 18-hole miniature golf course, the Center is the focal point for many activities of Cherokee, Village.


The writer of the postcard continues:

Hi--

92 degrees -- beautiful country -- swimming great -- 31 years ago today -- still feel lucky -- Be home Saturday P.M. Love, H.J.

Our writer is sending this postcard to Wisconsin where we know a great deal of promotion for Cherokee Village took place. Perhaps this person came from one of the state fairs Mr. Cooper's sale team conducted. Guess we will have to keep guessing on that 31 years!

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:02 am

Hi Forum,

The postcard continues:

4/4/73 Hardy, Arkansas

Dear Hattie:

500 miles from home. Lilacs, dogwood, redbud, etc all blooming. Arkansas is beautiful. This is quite a Village -- $25,000 homes, 19,000 acres, 300 miles of roads, & quite a place. Fantastic but it rained everyday & that's bad on the lakes for fishing. see you next week. Sincerely, Julia


Okay, questions:

1) Notice how Julia is taken by the the 300 miles of roads in a "village." We lose sight of the remarkable accomplishment of carving all these roads out of our landscape. Does anyone know how many miles of roads exist today?

2) You can tell that Julia is impressed by these $25,000 homes. Does anyone know the average cost of a home in Arkansas in 1973?

3) You can tell that Julia is blown away by the landscape -- especially the blooming redbuds, lilacs, and dogwoods. Some of these were planted by Mrs. Cooper. Does anyone have pictures of those early plantings? Perhaps the Garden club does.

4) Clearly fishing is quite the draw to the Village. Does anyone have a sense of the quality of fishing in the lakes here in 1973 versus today?

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:14 pm

Hi Forum,

I recently got a postcard from ebay with a great picture of the Village. It is dated April 4, 1973. I like looking on ebay for old pictures and postcards of the Village. This one comes from the boom era of Cherokee Village and is unique in having been written by a visitor to her friend back in Delaware. It gives a kind of "snapshot" of a visitor's thoughts during those days when lot sales were high and Cooper's vision was well underway.

One interesting thing is the picture on the postcard shows Iroquois Drive as a wide dirt road. That would sure surprise any local these days. Iroquois Drive is a major road and quite paved as 99% of the Village roads are these days. But in 1973, not so.

The postcard has the following printed caption:

Cherokee Village, Arkansas

One of the many inspiration points in Cherokee Village provides a sweeping view of Lake Sequoyah from a high point on Iroquois Drive. Some of the streets in the 85-mile road system are seen on the distant hills.


I will share next what Julia writes to her friend Hattie in Delaware about her impressions. What's in a postcard? Lots!

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:41 pm

Hi Forum,

I want to remind folks that there is a picture of Sitting Bull Restaurant under "Penny Postcards." You might be surprised by the interior style,

One thing that made an impression on me in the above post on Sitting Bull is the way that it needed to be financially underwritten by Mr. Cooper. I certainly can sense why. It seems that very nice meals were being served at unsustainable prices. I also sense that Mr. Cooper was willing to do this underwriting because of the importance of the Restaurant socially and to meet and greet prospective buyers.

The deeper question it raises for me is the issue of the sustainability of restaurants generally in the area. I have posted elsewhere on the subject of what it takes to make a go of it locally. My sense is that there is a lot of competition and pressure to keep prices very low. I wonder at times if that is fair to the merchants and to the well-being of the area. Certainly there are some restaurants that gain real popular appeal and seem to thrive. But there also is a good bit of "coming and going."

Any thoughts from the locals about all this?

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:07 pm

Hi Forum,

The history of Sitting Bull Restaurant continues take from the Early History of Cherokee Village. The next entry will be on the Liberty Supermarket once in Town Center. The old Liberty Supermarket is now the site of City Hall. Anyway, here is the continuation of the story of the Sitting Bull from the Early History of Cherokee village written by Jean Parker:

A twenty-four ton air conditioner was installed to coo; the new dinning rooms and kitchen. The cooling medium for this system was water supplied from Lake Cherokee. Water pumped from bottom of dam, through coils of conditioning system back to the lake. Air was blown across the coils and into the duct work of the system.

James A. (Doggie) Parker took over management of the Sitting Bull in April of 1961. He had just finished building his big lovely new home on Lake Sequoyah when Mr. Cooper found out that he had been in the restaurant business (20 years in Navy as Chief Commissary Steward, and two years as owner of "Arkansas Traveler" restaurant in Little Rock. Mr. Cooper wanted him to manage Sitting Bull, and since Mr. Cooper wanted good meals for reasonable prices, the Cooper Company paid the difference between cost and income until about 1970. It was the best food...Doggie had a way with cooking and serving large crowds, which they now had. From then on he catered all parties, meetings, luncheons, etc.

For Christmas in 1961 Mr. & Mrs. Cooper gave an elaborate and delicious dinner, served buffet style, to all members of the Cherokee Village Country Club and then presented them with the new Community Room that had been built on top of the recreation room, replacing the sun deck. It was pure elegance in the Cherokee manner, thanks to Mrs. Cooper who chose the furnishings and guided the decorating...."


To be continued....



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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:39 pm

Hi Forum,

Does anyone out there remember eating at the Sitting Bull Restaurant? The idea of using Lake Cherokee to provide cooling for the air-conditioning system is pretty revolutionary for the times when you think about it. It is essentially "geo-thermal" technology. We could, of course, continue to use the lakes in this way for nearby buildings. It provide a baseline temperature that could be used for warming or heating.

As I review the Early History, I find innovation going on across the board. From the early sales systems and modes of promotion to the community planning and building -- not just of the infrastructure -- but of human community. It is all quite amazing. It was, of course, Mr. Cooper who donated the land for the churches as well as the hospital. He was always thinking of what made for a community as a whole. We will need innovators and visionaries in each generation. Thank goodness we have such a great foundation and history from which to work.

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:46 pm

Hi Forum,

There is a section in the Early History of Cherokee Village entitled "Businesses of Cherokee Village." This could be a subject in itself for discussion elsewhere on the Forum. I know that there is much concern to see Town Center revitalized. The existing stores are great, but one can sense the former times when the center of town played a much greater role. Cherokee Village was fairly "self-contained" at one point -- right down to a supermarket in Town Center.

In any case, there has been a good bit of interest in an early restaurant in the Village called Sitting Bull Restaurant. Here is the entry from the early History:

SITTING BULL RESTAURANT

By: Jean Parker

In 2001, they tore down the most historical, most charming and most used building in the Village. This building at one time had housed not only the Sitting Bull Restaurant, but the first Post Office, a Gift Shop, sundeck and recreation room, Community Room with Library and finally a private dinning room and private club, called the Tee Pee Room.

The original Sitting Bull Restaurant was built in 1956, with only one large dining room and kitchen, a small room off the entrance, which housed Mrs. Cooper's Gift Shop (souvenir) and later also the post office of which Mrs. Cooper was the unpaid postmistress ($1.00 per year).

In 1961 a large dinning room (Thunderbird Room) with scarlet carpets on the floor and matching candles on the tables, had been added for elegant dining, leaving the Oak Room for swimmers and fishermen. A private dinning room was added behind the kitchen for staff meetings, company luncheons and Villagers special dinners and parties.

A twenty-four ton air conditioner was installed to coo; the new dinning rooms and kitchen. The cooling medium for this system was water supplied from Lake Cherokee....


To be continued...


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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:37 pm

Hi Forum,

After a needed Christmas break for me, we will be returning to the "Insider History." From time to time, a great promotional video for the State shows up and I wanted to share this one as a way of "picking up the spirit." Enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTcD5rHSPFs&feature=related

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:36 pm

Hi Forum,

Returning to the Early History of Cherokee Village, there was a guest columnist at the Villager in the early days who was very popular. It was called "Looking On The Purkey Side." Here is the entry from the Early History of Cherokee Village:

LOOKING ON THE PURKEY SIDE

By: Article in the Villager -- 1975
"What some of the first Villagers did"

His friends know him as "Purk", his wife affectionately calls him "Johnny." For thousands of people, John Purkey is considered their touchstone to Cherokee Village, Arkansas by means of his newspaper column "Looking on the Purkey Side."

A regular feature to the Cherokee Villager for 14 years, Purkey's column kept property owners informed of the social "goings on" of Village residents and visitors.

At the end of 1974, 81 year old Purkey retired from his writing. Before long, "Villager" editor, Connie Yates, began receiving telephone calls and letters concerning Purkey and the disappearance of his column.

"People really miss his column and I had to reassure them that Mr. Purkey is alive and well and enjoying his second retirement" commented Miss Yates.

In 1959 Purkey and his wife, Hortense, were among the first few families to make Cherokee Village their home, having moved to Arkansas from Downers Grove, IL.

Like thousands of people since, the Purkeys received a ltter frpm cherokee Village for a free vacation. "We were a bit skeptical and didn't answer the letter", said Purkey.

But a year later...


To be continued....

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:32 pm

Hi Forum,

Thanks for your interesting post, Mike. It is amazing the stories of the folks who have come from and to Cherokee Village. Today we have a great story "hot off the press" of a local who has turned 100. It is a great read and fitting since we have been speaking of the Villager from which the story comes. Enjoy. The link to the full news story is at the bottom and the site has a great picture of the gentleman.

"Cherokee Village man to turn 100


Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Tammy Curtis, Staff Writer

A century of life is a milestone few reach, but for Cherokee Village resident Daryl Mayenschein, the day is quickly approaching and he is excited about the upcoming celebration. His eyes have undoubtedly witnessed history most will only read of on the pages of a book.
Mayenschein took a few minutes out of his day to sit down and discuss the past and share a few things he believes are key to living to be one hundred -- and some of his secrets might be surprising..." Read whole Story URL: http://www.areawidenews.com/story/1687783.html

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by mike on Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:04 am

Paul, I will post this in its own topic, but it really does go along with your history of the village, even though this woman was decades before the village even came to be. Very interesting story I came across by accident. Read and enjoy:

Vanished at sea: The doomed obsession of Cherokee Village Arkansas Pioneer Frances Wilson Grayson

Here's a story I bet not too many people know about the past of what was to be Cherokee Village, Arkansas. Frances Wilson Grayson was born in 1890 in what was still 60 plus years away from becoming Cherokee Village. Her family were pioneers on this land. Read her story. She did some amazing things.

How many others knew who this woman was and that she was born in this area? I didn't.

http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2882408

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Wilson_Grayson


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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:06 pm

Hi Forum,

Maude White was an impressive woman as was her friend Glenna Garner in the early history of the Village. Their dedication to community development through visitation of new community members and the publishing of the local paper, the Villager, did a great deal for the new Cherokee Village. Maude also was a teacher of English and Journalism at Highland HS and also a fifth grade teacher for 17 years.

Like many women of their era, Maude was active in women's clubs and those club's community work. Before Maude's death, Maude was honored as 1995-1996 Arkansas Outstanding Woman of the Year by the General Federation of Women's Clubs. She was a particularly strong member of the Hardy Timely Club for 52 years.

Below is the Hardy Timely Club's website and there is found some very interesting information honoring the role of women in Arkansas. I think you will enjoy giving it a look and it seems like a most fitting way to honor the two great women we have recently been discussing in the Early History of Cherokee Village.

http://www.oldstatehouse.com/exhibits/permanent/legacy_women.aspx

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:06 am

Hi Forum,

Here is the next entry from the Early History of Cherokee Village from Maude White, Villager Co-Editor 1955. Note again the community spirit, generosity, and the reference to Christmas in the Village.

...In the beginning all company employees served in many capacities. One sales representative was the company plane pilot. It was mandatory for sales representatives to be responsible for one or more sport shows or fairs out of state. Very shortly we were advertising in Missouri, Tennessee, Iowa, and Illinois.

Early news sheets spoke of picnics on the river, a Halloween party for children of the Village, mainly employee's children. The Christmas party was always a big one. Mildred Cooper planned a large Christmas tree on the area now used for parking by the Copper Feather. Santa Claus made a dramatic entrance and every child received a gift from Mildred Cooper. She always knew the right man to lead Christmas carols, carols echoed through the hills.

Early living and working conditions were primitive, to say the least. We went into Hardy for food, gasoline and mail. But it was a way of life we accepted and we made it fun.

One night-time activity I'll never forget! At first there was only Lake Cherokee,
Papoose Park and a half mile airstrip that extended opposite Thunderbird Marina to the present lakes channel. (Across the road from Carol's Lakeview Restaurant.) This flat strip of land was a great temptation for the young men in sales who would race their cars there at night. I always wanted to enter my 1954 Chevrolet but when I hinted this, someone said, "This is not for you. You don't have the nerve to put the pedal to the metal." Remember, we were young then. This activity lasted only until Mr. Cooper heard about it. He sent out an ultimatum that "anyone caught racing on the airstrip would be terminated immediately."


To be continued...

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:27 pm

Hi Forum,

I look forward to picking up with Maude White's reflections as Villager Co-Editor in 1955. In the last two posts from the Early History of Cherokee Village two things jumped out at me and I would like comment on them. The following is a quote from Glenna Garner before she passed away:

She writes, "The Villager is now one of the highlights of my week. One does not spend the greater part of 22 years in a place without having a sincere interest in its people, its growth and its changes, which you so vividly portray in each issue."

"A sincere interest in its people, its growth and its changes..." is a state of heart. It is a state of heart and way of attachment to the Village as a living concept that made the Village vibrant. Each one of us can claim that visions and feeling toward our fellow residents. We can sense we are "in this together." We can engage in confidence in the future.

Imagine the work of "a man with a vision" and a bulldozer, a dedicated wife, and a few men and women who caught the concept. As Glenna reports,


I retired from Cooper Company on September 10, 1978. My years with the company were pleasant, even during the 1960's when as many as 300 couples a day came to visit the Village and look at property. The company had more than 100 sales people at that time and sales were booming. The office had six typewriters and efficient girls to use them. The girls could tun out a perfect contract in four minutes, and that could not be exceeded in many places.

Within 10 years, this was Mr. Cooper's doing. And with all we have in place now, surely, those days can begin with similar dedication even stronger now.

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:43 pm

Hi Forum,

The next set of reflections comes from another early force in the life of Village about whom we have heard already, Maude White. Maude was Villager Co-Editor also in 1955. These reflections are great because we truly see a view from the earliest days of the Village.

From the Early History of Cherokee Village:

By: Maude White
Villager Co-Editor 1955

Helping to edit The Cherokee Villager some 38 years ago is almost like a dream -- a good dream but long since forgotten. The one page sheet of that time listed Glenna Garner and Maude White as editors.

I remember interviewing property owners, getting pictures and bringing them back to G.G. as we called "Glenna" then as she produced the paper. We hardly thought of it as a newspaper but as an informational sheet or progress report.

It always listed the new property owners and their addresses and they received a copy. As time went by, scheduled plans for a second lake and a golf course were a big part of the news.

In the beginning all company employees served in many capacities. One sales representative was the company plane pilot. It was mandatory for sales representatives to be responsible for one or more sport shows or fairs out of state. Very shortly we were advertising in Missouri, Tennessee, Iowa, and Illinois.


Note those state fairs! Amazing sales strategy and there's a related point that I will soon want to make.

To be continued...

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:01 pm

Hi Forum,

The wonderful reflections of Glenna Garner come to a close with a footnote. It is a very interesting account of part of how this Early History of Cherokee Village book came together. We can only hope that it accords with Glenna's vision.

Two years before her retirement as teacher of the business subjects in the Williford School, Glenna accepted employment as an office manager in the sales department of Cherokee Village Development Co., later known as Cooper Communities, Inc. She started work with the Village on June 1, 1956, and for the first two years worked only during the summer months and on weekends. After those two years she completed her 30 years of teaching and became a full time employee of Cherokee Village.

Since her retirement, Garner has spent her time in civic and community volunteer work and in traveling, which she still likes to do. Garner has kept the early copies of the Villager in her attic. She said the newspapers "have yellowed with age but are still legible." She hopes to use them to write a book about early Cherokee Village at some time in the future.

She writes, "The Villager is now one of the highlights of my week. One does not spend the greater part of 22 years in a place without having a sincere interest in its people, its growth and its changes, which you so vividly portray in each issue."

In 2005 at age 94, Glenna passed away after battling cancer for 6 months. Before she died she advised Jean Parker she would donate those early Villager papers to the Cherokee Village Historical Society providing her son got a copy of this book.


Thank you Glenna.

To be continued....

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:59 am

Glenna Garner's recollections you just posted are priceless. What an insight to those early days. That would have been fun being around a new project like that.

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http://cherokeevillage.forumotion.com

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:35 pm

Hi Forum,

Firstly, thanks for your support local. It is good to know that this section continues to speak not only to those new to the Village or exploring the area but also those who have been here a log time. Thanks.

I am going to pick back up now with the Early History of Cherokee Village and the reflections of Glenna Garner, the first Villager Editor, 1955. You will be amazed at some of the sale and development figures in the last paragraph. Enjoy.

When the first homes were completed, either Maude or I had to visit the owners as soon as they moved into the Village to interview them, using the information as an item of news for the Villager.

Like and work in the Village was quite different during those early years. Only a small part of the Village had been platted and ready for sale. Very few streets had been built and they were not paved. One lake had been built and an airstrip that could handle small planes was in use.

My duties in the beginning were many and varied. The office was sparsely furnished, with one typewriter, one file cabinet and one desk which held all the file cards that had to be prepared for each person. The office was not air-conditioned and neither were the cars the sales people used for touring their clients. However, requests for the needs for the office were soon filled and I was allowed to employ efficient office help.

Joe Basore was vice president and project manager in 1956. and I served as secretary to joe and John Cooper, Sr., president of the company. There was much correspondence to be answered and Joe dictated while shaving with his electric razor in one hand and shining his shoes with the other. Sometimes his head was under the desk and he was mumbling away. I got a word now and then, but took the letter he was answering back to my desk and typed an answer using Joe's usual words and phrases. I would then carry the answer back for his signature, he always signed it.

Sometimes Joe said, "I don't remember saying that." I would answer, "Well, that's what you should have said." I could not have made it without Joe for he always had a good answer for anything I needed to know.

I retired from Cooper Company on September 10, 1978. My years with the company were pleasant, even during the 1960's when as many as 300 couples a day came to visit the Village and look at property. The company had more than 100 sales people at that time and sales were booming. The office had six typewriters and efficient girls to use them. The girls could tun out a perfect contract in four minutes, and that could not be exceeded in many places.


To be continued...






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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by local on Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:36 pm

i find this a pleasure. thank you
- b

local
Guest


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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:38 am

Hi Forum,

When I think about the early promotions to grow Cherokee Village what strikes me most is the use of state fairs and the use of gift lots. From time to time these "gift lots" still appear on ebay. The SID website which you can find linked on this Forum will provide a list of areas in the Village in which these gift lots are located. Basically, these were promo giveaway lots years ago that were intended to bring people to visit the Village and then hopefully exchange their gift lot for a true developable CV lot with full rights to facilities.

What i like is that these state fairs would lead to invitations and overnights to the Village which would help people "catch the vision." I think that we would do well as a Village to try this approach once more. Some of the early facilities -- the lodge and Sitting Bull restaurant were about facilitating these visits. Again, this is an approach that should be revisited. It would be great to hear from anyone out there who took one of these early promotional visits. Anyone out there?

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:16 pm

Hi Forum,

I'm going to be off for a few days for the holiday. Thanks for your interest in the early history. Have a wonderrful Thanksgiving!

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:04 pm

Hi Forum,

The next section of the Early History of Cherokee Village is entitled "Memories of Villager Newspaper Editors." I think that you will find the first one of these memories very interesting and enlightening. These memories of editors follow in sequence of their editorships. You will quickly note important names we have heard before. Again, this first memory reflects the very early history of the Village. Enjoy...

VILLAGER EDITOR

By: Glenna Garner
Recollections of Villager Editor, 1955

In the 1950's Maude White and I prepared a brief issue of the Villager for each season of the year. These issues were used mainly for advertising purposes. A copy was given to each guest who lives in the Village and a copy was included in each advertising letter mailed out.

The issues were not dated. They were called Spring, Summer, Fall and winter issues. We sometimes did a special Christmas issue.

Maude and I worked together in preparing the early Villager. She did most of the work in collecting items of news. I did the wording and typing of the articles and got it to the publisher. We were both so busy with other types of work - -she with selling property and me with keeping the office running smoothly -- neither of us thought of ourselves as editors.

Each issue of the early Villager contained a list of current guests, as well as a list of new property owners. Pictures were hard to come by but were used when it was possible to get one.

When the first homes were completed, either Maude or i had to visit owners as soon as they moved into the Village to interview them, using the information as an item of news for the Villager.


To be continued...

Paul2CV

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:19 pm

Hi Forum,

It may be time to do a little looking forward as well as looking back. As people have shared personal reflections in the Early History of Cherokee Village, one piece has been left out. As any community is organizing, questions about what the best structure of government comes to the floor one way or another.

The history of formal government in the Village has not been without some controversy. In sum, there has been a movement to both a City or municipal and SID (Suburban Improvement District) structure. The following article from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas gives and overview. After this brief tour of the governing structure, we will continue with the Early History of Cherokee Village. This background on government should be a real help.

When Cherokee Village was established, no provision had been made for residents to share the costs of maintaining the roads and recreational facilities operated by the development corporation. Not wanting to fund these services exclusively, the corporation’s board of directors suggested the creation of a suburban improvement district in 1968. The state allowed for the creation of these districts under the Arkansas State Improvement District Act of 1941 to provide public services, such as road maintenance and recreational facilities, without the formality of incorporation. In order to create an improvement district, citizens were required to seek approval from the local circuit court. The following year, the Cherokee Village Country Club recommended the creation of an improvement district to provide a fire department and maintain recreational facilities and streets. Some 1,100 property owners petitioned circuit court for permission to establish the district, but not all Cherokee Village residents approved of the plan.

Several residents formed the Property Owners Protective Association to block the circuit court petition. In their lawsuit, the members of the Property Owners Protective Association argued that the plan was unconstitutional because it gave the government’s taxation power to a private corporation. Meanwhile, those who supported the creation of the improvement district formed the Property Owners Association. The local circuit court judge rejected the Property Owners Protective Association suit, declaring their argument invalid because the proposed suburban improvement district would levy taxes, not the development corporation. Despite the setback, disgruntled residents continued to challenge the district’s formation until 1975, when the development corporation, which had changed its name to Cooper Communities, Inc. in 1970, agreed to provide $150,000 in operating funds for the improvement district to begin its responsibilities.

In 1975, a three-person board of commissioners was chosen by property owners and confirmed by the circuit court judge to oversee the Cherokee Village Suburban Improvement District. Although local government has evolved since 1975, the improvement district remains an integral part of Cherokee Village life. In addition to setting tax rates, the board of commissioners oversees all district operations and approves policy. A director of property services oversees the operations of the district, including two eighteen-hole golf courses; seven lakes; the North, Omaha, and Thunderbird recreation centers; and four fire stations. In order to fund these facilities, taxes are levied against each lot in Cherokee Village, and user fees are charged.

Although largely satisfied with the operation of the improvement district, by the end of the 1970s, Cherokee Village citizens contemplated broadening local government operations. In 1979, the Property Owners Association formed a committee to study the possibility of establishing a town government to augment the suburban improvement district. The following year, a poll was conducted by the League of Women Voters to discover if citizens were favorable to incorporating Cherokee Village as a town. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the idea.

By the late 1990s, however, residents had changed their minds. In 1997, Cherokee Village citizens petitioned the courts for permission to incorporate. Because Cherokee Village is within both Sharp and Fulton counties, both court systems had to rule on the petition. Despite the overwhelming support of the citizenry for incorporation, the Sharp County judge denied their petition in December 1997. The Fulton County court divided Cherokee Village when it granted the incorporation petition in January 1998. Fulton County residents incorporated as Cherokee Village West, while their Sharp County neighbors remained unincorporated.

Early in 1998, the newly elected Cherokee Village West city council passed an ordinance annexing the Sharp County section. Voters in both county sections approved the annexation in April, creating the united city of Cherokee Village. In addition to a mayor and city council, a police force was created and a district court established. Although the improvement district remained a vital entity, the city of Cherokee Village took over some of its duties. For example, in 2003, the city assumed responsibility for street maintenance.

The development of Cherokee Village in 1955 had a profound impact on Arkansas. The retirement community industry became an integral part of the state’s economy as the older Americans who flocked to Cherokee Village transformed the state into one of the most innovative and popular retirement destinations in the United States. According to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), the state is the ninth most popular choice in the United States for retirees.


This excerpt can be found at: http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=995

Paul2CV

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:28 pm

Hi Forum,

I just wanted to share the concluding footnote from Zora's reflections. She was clearly a great lady who did much to promote the Village. Some cooments of my own follow.

From the Early History of Cherokee Village:

For many years Zora gave basically this information about the Village at luncheons for new comers to let them know how it was in the early days of Cherokee Village.

What a fantastic idea to give "newcomer luncheons"! I do know that my welcome was very friendly and included a subscription to the Village Journal. It helped to make me feel like I was connected in the early days. I also understand that there was and perhaps still is a "Welcoming Committee." The Committee would visit the newcomer's home just to say "hi" and give some informational materials. Does anyone know the status of this Committee? SID also did a great job of welcome as well as City Hall.

Information is quite available on facilities and lots and services. From my perspective, what we see in the Early History is much more than a "business plan" but really a thought out "human plan" to create community. Village Pride and related organizations have much to offer in that regard. The churches are very welcoming to new people and offer a great way to connect.

Perhaps we can think of ways to have talks like Zora's again!

To be continued...

Paul2CV

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

Post by Paul2CV on Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:22 pm

Hi Forum,

Thanks for the kind words, Mike. This journey into the beginnings of the Village really fascinates me as well. I'm learning things beyond anything I would have imagined about those early years.

As the reflections pick up from where we left off in the Early Years of Cherokee Village, we will see the development of the first homes.

Zora remembers the first homes were built on Skyline Drive and Hiawatha Drive, East and West Lakeshore. Lake Cherokee and Sequoyah Lake were the only lakes when they moved here in 1963. Now we have seven lakes. The landing strip of the first airport was located between what is now Carol's Lakeview Dinette and the Christian Science Church. They were only small planes piloted by some sales persons. Construction of the new airport, off Allegheny Drive was begun in 1963.

A fallout shelter was completed in late 1962 for the security of Village residents. It was completely stocked and located near channel bridge on Iroquois/Hwy 175. When more streets were constructed the street signs appeared...all of the same color and design...that you see today.

Many events were remembered by Zora as she watched Cherokee Village grow, but none compared to the friends and good times she shared in the community. She told her niece she wanted to come back to Cherokee Village to be buried with her first husband who died in 1971.

Zora loved Cherokee Village. She often remarked that it was such a beautiful place, so peaceful and one of the happiest times of her life. It is appropriate that she be brought back to a community she loved so much.


To be continued...

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Re: INSIDER HISTORY OF CHEROKEE VILLAGE ARKANSAS (Continues)

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