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Historian speaks on local pearling industry history

POCAHONTAS—The Randolph County Heritage Museum hosted its second lecture series Monday night with famed Arkansas historian and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Tom Dillard, who spoke about the history of the pearling industry in northeast Arkansas.

Introducing Dillard, Linda Bowlin, of Five Rivers Historic Preservation, Inc., said, “Our speaker tonight has so many accomplishments and awards related to history in the State of Arkansas that they’re just too numerous to mention.”

Dillard, Bowlin noted, has served as director of the Arkansas Department of Heritage, was creator and founding editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, was creator and founder of The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in Little Rock, served as head of special collections at the University of Arkansas, and has written a weekly column about Arkansas history in the Sunday edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2002.

“All kinds of amazing things are being discovered in northeast Arkansas and it’s long past due in my opinion,” said Dillard. “One of the things to be discovered about northeast Arkansas is the pearling and shelling business that was so strong here.”



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