Located in central Howard County in the southwestern part of the state,
Dierks is a town with origins linked to the emergence of the state’s lumber
industry. For 38 years, the Pine Tree Festival has been the town’s signature
annual event. Held in City Park on the first Friday and Saturday of each
August, (6-7 this year) the festival recalls the town’s lumber-industry origins
and carries on a tradition of forest festivals that were popular particularly
in southern Arkansas from the 1920s through the early 1950s. This year, The Marshall Tucker Band is
signed on to be the headliner for the concert on Saturday night. More details
on the concert can be found at dierkschamberofcommerce.com.
As to more history of the city, it was named after a
German family that immigrated to Iowa in the mid-1800s and later, led by Peter
Henry Dierks, migrated south. The family established several prosperous sawmill
and lumber businesses in Arkansas and Oklahoma in the early 1900s, including a
major sawmill at an Arkansas community then known as Hardscrabble. When it
incorporated in 1907, the settlement took the Dierks’ name.
In 1969, Weyerhaeuser Company purchased most of the Dierks
family’s holdings. Weyerhaeuser’s manufacturing facilities at Dierks remain the
area’s largest employer.
Located five miles northwest of Dierks and surrounded by
mixed pine and hardwood forests, the 1,360-acre Dierks Lake provides
opportunities for fishing, boating, water-skiing, camping, and sightseeing. Three
Corps’ recreation areas on the lake offer boat ramps, swimming areas and more
than 100 campsites. Among anglers, the lake is best known for its crappie and
largemouth bass, but fishing for bream and catfish is also good.