Pine Ridge: Lum & Abner Connection

 

Zoie Clift

 

Have you been to the Lum & Abner Museum and Jot ‘Em Down
Store before? On a trip to Mena last year I drove past an interesting looking
wood building that caused me to literally stop my car and head back to check it
out. It was that kind of building. It’s on my mind now because the museum
opened this week after being closed since November. ( their opening dates are
March 15-Nov. 5).
 
The museum, which is in Pine Ridge,is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the
county’s most historic site. From 1931 to 1955, one of the most popular
programs on the radio was Lum and Abner, based on Pine Ridge, Arkansas.  In the early 1880s a small settlement
was established in western Montgomery County. The Waters Post Office was
established in 1886. A small store was built in 1904 and a second one five
years later. These stores were the center of activity for the community until
modern roads and cars took customers to larger towns. In 1931 two men, Chet
Lauck and Tuffy Goff, from nearby Mena created Lum and Abner and their many
friends for the radio program. The action took place at the Jot ‘Em Down Store
in Pine Ridge and the characters were based on the people who lived in Waters.
The name of the town was changed to Pine Ridge in 1936 to match the name used
on the radio. The community, the post office, and the stores are still
standing. These buildings house the Lum & Abner Museum. In addition to the
Lum and Abner history the museum has examples of early general store
merchandise and fixtures and farm and household items from our early days. The
U.S. Post Office there still sells stamps. For more information, call owners
Lon and Kathy Stucker at 870-326-4442.
Posted in Travel Arkansas

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