Monte Ne Today
The Decline of Monte Ne
In 1944 Missouri Row was sold to 2 Springdale businessmen who tore the structure down. Camp Joyzelle, a summer camp for girls, used Oklahoma Row as a hotel for families of campers for a few years. Then in 1955 the hotel was sold to Dallas Barrack, a Springdale antique dealer, who used it as an antique gallery. By the 1950s the Town of Monte Ne was reduced to a few homes, a general store, gas station, a restaurant, and Camp Joyzelle.
Then in 1960 work began on Beaver Dam (PDF). Built to control flooding along the White River and in the Mississippi Valley, the dam was deeply desired by local business interests. Only a few history buffs expressed concern that most of the historic resort of Monte Ne and Harvey’s amphitheater would be flooded by the project.
The Rising of Beaver Lake
As the waters rose, Harvey’s tomb was moved up onto a hillside. As the rising waters of Beaver Lake (PDF) approached the amphitheater, the Army Corps of Engineers had to put a stop to a plan to dynamite the site in the mistaken belief that Harvey had buried a variety of items (including a Model T automobile) within the concrete work. J.C. Gladden purchased the log portions of Oklahoma Row and moved a part of it west along Highway 94 to use as an antique shop.
The 2 concrete chairs from the amphitheater stage were moved to Rogers and are now in Frisco Park in downtown Rogers. The concrete tower of Oklahoma Row was above the lake waters. Today it keeps silent sentinel over the site of Harvey’s resort. Though a graffiti-covered ruin, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first examples of reinforced concrete construction in Arkansas.
Monte Ne continues to exert a hold on people’s imaginations. Whenever lake levels drop, hundreds of people take the opportunity to see Harvey’s amphitheater. Some are coming to reminisce; others are seeing it for the first time. William Harvey continues to interest people of all ages and walks of life. Whether you see him as an eccentric crank, a far-sighted idealist, or a bit of both, Harvey assuredly was one of the most interesting characters in Arkansas history. Learn more about present day Monte Ne by viewing the Monte Ne Today brochure (PDF).