High Cotton on the Bayou Festival
Each fall, the Scott Plantation Settlement in Scott is home to the High Cotton on the Bayou Festival. At the festival, visitors can find turn of the century activities and exhibits including tours of authentic central Arkansas plantation buildings, tours of Scott Heritage Farm, sorghum making, butter churning, blacksmith demonstrations, live music, games, heritage crafts, farm produce vendors, and more. The Scott Plantation Settlement is located at 15525 Alexander Road.
As to more details, the Scott Plantation Settlement depicts early farming life and represents plantation history for the first 100 years of Arkansas statehood. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, “It rests on more than eight acres of the Illallee Plantation donated by Virginia Alexander, daughter of Arthur Alexander and Otelia George Alexander, who purchased the land in 1898. The historical sequence of plantation culture can be seen in the preserved buildings and other exhibits dating from the antebellum period through the early twentieth century.”
On site are original area working plantation structures including a hand-hewn cypress corncrib, 1840s dog trot log cabin, a Big House from one of the local plantations, commissary, one-room schools, doctor’s office, tenant houses, and blacksmith shop. A Civil War interpretive sign explains the Battle of Ashley’s Mill, part of the 1863 Little Rock Campaign conducted by Union General Frederick Steele that led to the fall of Little Rock in 1863.
On a side note, the settlement ( at the Dortch Commissary) was a centerpiece for the filming of one of the scenes for the movie, The Last Ride- which is about the last two days of the life of Hank Williams Sr. This was one of five locations used in Scott during the production. The others included Cotham’s Restaurant, Horseshoe Lake, Scott Elementary School, and the Plantation Agriculture Museum.
The Scott Heritage Farm, which is adjacent to the Scott Plantation Settlement, is a 30 acre farm dedicated to building a sustainable farming community for the Scott area. For more information visit scottconnections.org.