The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What's In A Name?

The Queen sits on a relatively quite three acres atop of Crow Mountain. If you look at maps of the area, you'll notice the mountain's full name is Carrion Crow Mountain. What's a carrion crow? I didn't know so I decided to find out. Carrion Crow (or black vulture) is a folk name for Coragyps atratus, a type of vulture that is common to the Americas. For more information and some smallish pictures, click here.

An excellent follow up question would be, why is Crow Mountain called Carrion Crow Mountain? I don't know and I haven't been able to find out. I guess the obvious explanation would be that a lot of vultures lived (and still live) on the mountain. If anyone knows or has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Another excellent question is, why is Crow Mountain called a mountain? It looks more like a plateau. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, a mountain is any elevation 2000 feet above sea level or higher. Crow Mountain is 1080 feet above sea level (approximately 500-600 feet above Atkins) which places it way below 2000 ft. In Arkansas (and elsewhere), mountains seem to be any high, large landmass. I never really thought too much of it before, but when I was in high school we had a group of German exchange students from Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, visit. They thought our "mountains" were hilarious. Having been to Berchtesgaden, I can't say that I blame them.

When we are working on the Queen we always end up sitting on the porch for our breaks. I always find myself looking at the woods and the creek wondering what all happened here before the Queen and the other homes came.

According to my wife, twenty years ago almost no one lived on Crow Mountain. There were a few old homesteads, a peach orchard, and several farming & live stock operations (cattle and chickens). Only a couple of roads were paved. In the 1980's, "city folk" from Russellville began moving onto the mountain. They were lured there by the cheap land and the beautiful view. On a good day (low humidity), you can see over 20 miles away. Since then, more houses and subdivisions have been covering up the pastures and fields.

Before that time its hard to know what happened. There isn't much information on our local geography. There are some Native American paintings in some caves on the mountain. They are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, but there location is kept secret to protect it from vandals. In the time of Hernando de Soto, a small Native American village called Tanico, south of present day Atkins, was on the Arkansas River. In the early to mid 1800's there we a lot of Cherokee in the area. Someone once told me that Crow Mountain was the personal hunting ground for a Cherokee Chief for a while. Aside from that, there isn't much to go on before the white settlement of the area in the 1800's. After then, there isn't too much information either.

In any case, The Devil Queen of Carrion Crow Mountain has a nice, macabre poetic-ring.


Blogger Urban Queen Anne said...

Oh, but the British system of measuring a mountain has a hight of 1000ft.

Haven't you ever seen the movie "An Englishman Went Up A Hill, But Came Down A Mountain"? Its a great film... :)

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