Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Augusta House Boats, Augusta, Woodruff County

Augusta House Boats
11X14, Oil on Birch Panel

This was from my recent trip up to Jacksonport and through 4 Delta counties.  Downtown Augusta was deserted when I was there.  It has an intriguing old downtown area but being as deserted as it was, it was forlorn feeling.  Especially forlorn given the overcast nature of the afternoon.  I walked down the middle of the street taking pictures, my only accompaniment a set of windchimes tuned in a minor key.  There is a theater in downtown that must have been beautiful in it's heyday.  Sad state of repair today though, I'm afraid.  I may revisit Augusta to paint that theater.

The town is poised on the eastern bank of the White River.  From about Batesville south to the Arkansas River, the White is navigable by steam ship.  Like Jacksonport, the fortunes of Augusta probably rose and fell in time with transportation.  It was probably a major hub of activity until the advent of trains.

Recently, the only working steamboat on the White River was declared unsalvable.  The Mary Woods 2 was moored at Jacksonport State Park.  It sank in 2010.  RIP.

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