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Gone, but not forgotten: How Cob Cave became Lost Valley


Cob Cove was a hidden gem of natural beauty that was discovered by conservationists who sought to have it preserved as a state park as early as 1945. These early efforts were unsuccessful. Then Ken Smith, photographer and nature lover, discovered the place and wrote an article about "Lost Valley" in the Arkansas Gazette in 1957. Dex Curtis of Ponca said, "We just called it Cob Cove and never paid it much mind. Then Ken Smith wrote his article...Next Sunday after the article came out, we looked out the window and here came a whole passel of cars over the hill. They read the article about Lost Valley. People have been coming in droves ever since." Ken Smith convinced the Arkansas chapter of Nature Conservancy to try to help make Lost Valley a park. They, too, failed. But a portion of Lost Valley was later donated to the state by a Little Rock physician, and Lost Valley was finally created in 1966. (Baxter Bulletin 18 May 1967 pg. 17)

Barbara LeRoy is the author of “Which Side Were They On?,” a new 302 page book listing biographical sketches of the Newton Countians who were involved in the Civil War, available for sale either in the Bradley House Museum or by purchasing online at www.newtoncountyar.com. The book sells for $33.