Davidsonville State Park welcomes new visitor center and boat

Davidsonville State Park welcomes new visitor center and boat

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Davidsonville State Park will welcome a new visitor's center this winter.

The official opening for the center is Dec. 8 and will include new offices and a welcome center.

The area will also display historic artifacts from the park and surrounding area.

One display is a life-sized riverboat modeled after the ones that traveled down the river in the 1800s.

This flatboat took almost seven weeks for builder John Cooper and his wife to complete for the park.

Cooper has made 21 of these flatboat replicas over the years.

He said historical artifacts like this boat are important for people to see so they can learn the history of the area.

"It lets you realize that it wasn't easy," Cooper said. "All this stuff that we have and this comfort we have was not easy to come by. Somebody had to work hard to get it here."

There is also a mural of the Black River covering the wall near the boat so it looks like the boat is traveling down the river.

Visitors can walk onto the boat and see the inside where people used to live while traveling the river.

Cooper also included authentic items in the boat like a fire pit, silverware, soap and even animal traps.

He said he is thankful for the opportunity to build a flatboat replica for the state of Arkansas.

The park will include several other artifacts in case displays throughout the center.

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