Shiloh Summer Series

Buffalo River Country

Shiloh Museum of Ozark History is excited to announce its first-ever Shiloh Summer Series! Each of the planned activities is family friendly and open to all ages. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Buffalo National River becoming the first national river in the United States and our own exhibit Ken Smith’s Buffalo River Country, the Shiloh Museum has collaborated with community partners around the Arkansas Ozarks to offer a variety of free activities that will help you explore and learn about the Buffalo River. All events are FREE! Please note that some events require registration.


Tuesday, June 14: Visit the grounds of the Shiloh Museum for an outdoor viewing of the Ozark Society’s First River: How Arkansas Saved a National Treasure documentary. Bring your own snacks and picnic blankets or chairs! The movie will begin about sundown at 8:15, but guests are welcome to arrive after 7:30 to set up and wander the gardens. The documentary is approximately 53 minutes long. No RSVP required.

Saturday, June 25: Get your hands and feet wet while searching for macroinvertebrates and learn about water quality with the University of Arkansas’ Cooperative Extension Service at the Thunder Chicken Trailhead in northern Springdale from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. This event is free but pre-registration is required. Participants will get details about directions and parking prior to the event.

Register Here: Shiloh Summer Series: Creek Critters


Saturday, July 9: Tour the 1870s Historic Boxley Grist Mill located in Newton County, Arkansas, on behalf of the National Park Service. Each tour can accommodate up to 12 people, and tours start at 10  and 11 a.m. Free but spots are limited. 

Register here for the Boxley Valley Grist Mill tour: Shiloh Summer Series: Boxley Mill

Wednesday, July 27: Nature Poetry Workshop with poet Zach Harrod at 5:30 p.m. at Shiloh Meeting Hall. Using historic images of the Buffalo River country as inspiration, local poet Zach Harrod will highlight examples of his nature-related poetry as well as guide workshop attendees through the basics of writing poetry. Attendees can listen and learn, and try their hand at writing their own poetry. This workshop is geared towards young adults and older. This workshop is free to attend but pre-registration is required.

Register here for the Nature Poetry Workshop and to learn more about Harrod: Nature Poetry Workshop.


Friday, August 19: Public program, “Cemeteries and Grave Art Along the Buffalo River” in Ponca, AR at 5:30 pm. Join Abby Burnett, author of Gone to the Grave: Burial Customs of the Arkansas Ozarks, 1850–1950, as she presents “Cemeteries and Grave Art Along the Buffalo River.” Cemeteries along, and near, the Upper Buffalo River contain examples of now-vanished burial customs, brought here by white settlers as early as the 1830s. In addition to grave houses, tent graves, and coffin-shaped grave coverings, early tombstone makers created beautiful, detailed artwork on headstones. This talk will provide a virtual tour of cemeteries along the river, highlighting some of the customs and the carvings found there. This in-person program is hosted in collaboration with the Ponca Nature Center. Pre-registration is not required. Visit Cemeteries and Grave Art Along the Buffalo River for details on location.


Saturday, September 17: See how people cooked before the advent of stoves and microwaves with Dutch Oven Cooking Near the Buffalo from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Campsite 5, Steel Creek Campground, near Ponca. Ozark settlers needed fire to cook for their families. A Dutch oven allowed for baking by placing hot coals on top and underneath it, providing a uniform heat. This demonstration will be led by Judy Costello, Education Manager for the Shiloh Museum.

Ongoing Shiloh Museum activities:

Visit the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History and see the new temporary exhibit Ken Smith’s Buffalo River Country currently on display in the museum’s exhibit hall. This exhibit will be on display until December of 2022. 

Learn about the history of the Buffalo National River in less than 60 seconds with the Shiloh Museum’s Minute History: Buffalo National River video on the Shiloh Museum’s YouTube channel:  

Questions about these events? Contact Kim Hosey or call her at 479.750.8165.

Five teenagers and one teacher in hip waders in a creek looking for creatures.
Man in sunglasses with a river behind him. Holding up a fish for the camera.
Book cover of Gone to the Grave by Abby Burnett
Image of three Dutch ovens containing baked biscuits, stew and possibly hash.