My wife & I recently visited the Rush Historic District on a Saturday afternoon. After a great BBQ lunch at the Black Sheep Smokehouse & Grill in Yellville, we traveled Arkansas Highway 14 South to Rush. You will see Buffalo River Float Service on the right side of Highway 14. Great place for canoe/kayak/tube/raft rentals, shuttle service, guided fishing/river tours, snacks, drinks, and more. Turn left off the highway directly across from Buffalo River Float Service. You will travel a few miles on a paved road until it turns into a gravel/dirt road. You will see signs pointing you to the Rush Historic District area.
The Rush Historic District is a zinc mining region of the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas located by the Buffalo National River. The district includes structures and ruins dating from 1880 to 1940. During World War I the Rush mines were the center of the zinc industry in Arkansas. Ten mining companies operated 13 developed mines within the district, more than any other mining district within the North Arkansas District. The buildings, structures, and ruins at Rush are the last visible remains of historic zinc mining activity in Arkansas.
You can park off the dirt road near the fence that keeps people at a distance from entering the 5 historic buildings. You first see 3 historic buildings you can capture with your phone camera or other camera you have with you. In view just down the road you will see the other 2 historic buildings on the main stretch of the road. Keep driving past these historic buildings and you will see a fieldstone retaining rock wall along the ten‐acre Hicks property located at the center of the Rush Historic District. The Hicks family settled in Rush in 1903 and quickly became ingrained as prominent members of the community, establishing a Livery service, a Hotel, and a General Mercantile. You will see entrances along the wall that were part of the hotel. In 1916 they built a two story Store/Inn, the only stone building in the valley. Other site improvements, such as a 240‐foot long fieldstone retaining wall fronting the property, geometric pebble‐and‐concrete‐lined flower beds arranged on a front lawn, and a brick‐paved front walk reinforced the family’s persona of prosperity and permanence in a transient community.
Continue on the the road and you will see on your left a parking area with a pavilion. The pavilion has a map and historical information as well as brochures which detail the historical points of interests and hiking trails. There is a short loop trail leaving the pavilion with historical points noted on the map and coordinated on the trail with informative signs at each point detailing the remnants of the historical buildings and providing a historical perspective of the living conditions.
At the pavilion follow the path on the left to the smelter built out of stone in 1886.
Continue on the path and you will see more descriptive signs with information about the ruins in the area you will see. Keep going and there is a trail they goes beside a Blacksmith shop. The trail is family friendly with a incline ascent that leads to some of the old mines which are blocked off for your safety. Once back in your vehicle, continue going down the dirt road and you will arrive at the Buffalo River access point. The Rush Historic District is a great place to visit and learn about a once thriving mining community in Arkansas.
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