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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On the Road Oddities: Part 2

Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 10:50 AM

(Photo)
What happened to Possum Grape, Arkansas?

Driving south on U.S. Highway 67 in Arkansas a couple of months ago, we saw this sign, which is between Newport and Searcy. My traveling buddy had been meaning to check it out for years, but never took the time to get off the main drag and tool off up the distant hills to find it.

We marked it in our minds and said, "Okay, next time we come through this way, we're going to follow the road to Possum Grape!"

HA! That's easier said than done! Turning off 67, we discovered that the road to Possum Grape was GRAVEL--and LOTS of gravel, going on and on for 8-10 miles. My friend was driving a new car, and no way was he taking it over that rocky road!

So much for that day's exploration into the unknown!

Fortunately, however, we found ourselves on the route again a few months later, so we re-thought our options and figured out another way to get to Possum Grape. Traveling an Arkansas State highway, we made it all the way to Possum Grape. Or...at least, we THINK we made it to Possum Grape!

There's NOTHING THERE!!!!

I'm not kidding! No houses, no farms, no trace of civilization!!

The least the highway department could have done was put up a sign reading, "This is the former location of Possum Grape, Arkansas"!

Was there ever a town there? If so, what happened to it? Were the inhabitants kidnapped by aliens? If they were, the creatures must have taken their houses, too--because there is no trace of them.

And--the big question--Who is responsible for the installation of a city sign on a major highway, advertising the location of a non-existent town??

Is the highway department that clueless about the population of the state? Did Arkansas outsource their highway signs to China or India, where a group of engineers are sitting around a table, making up fictitious names for American cities?

"Ah, so! I think 'Possum Grape' good name for U.S. City!"

"Okay! I have good name, too! How about 'Gooberville'??"

You think I made that one up, don't you?? Haha! Tune in tomorrow, friends and neighbors!

From the sensible street of Sturdivant in lovely, downtown Advance, Mo., this is your spring-fever-stricken blogger, Madeline, longing for a return to the warm, sunny south before she loses all semblance of sanity...


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Watch it, people have been known to do weird things chasing the coming of spring.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Mar 29, 2011, at 1:38 PM

I'm going to check this with my Arkansas Authority Friend. Possums do like grapes, I'd bet. I know raccoons do!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Tue, Mar 29, 2011, at 7:40 PM

Possum grapes are probably as popular with the native creatures as persimmons are. Judging from the scat track, everything from coyotes to deer to possums likes persimmons.

Too bad that such a creatively-named town is GONE! There are a bunch of towns around here that have just faded away into memory. However, MoDot does NOT have signs on the major highways documenting their location!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 29, 2011, at 8:32 PM

Okay, here is the report from Arkansas: " You must have missed it, since there are still a few houses and a post office. Possum Grape is located south of Thida and west of Oil Trough," according to a message from my Arkansas friend. From what I'd guess, this friend of Madeline's will want to try to locate this interestingly named town on just one more jaunt. What is a new car for if not to drive to Possum Grape? Now, you might have to look for Oil Trough, too!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Tue, Mar 29, 2011, at 9:50 PM

Gonenow, your friend is wrong! I have been to Possum Grape, and there is NO post office or buildings of any kind! (Unless they're off from the highway and covered by undergrowth).

I do admit that I've never ventured to Oil Trough, but you can be sure that I WILL check it out the next time I'm through the area!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 6:26 AM

Hmmm--I'll ask for further information. Did you google Possum Grape? I might try that when I have some spare time. (in my next lifetime, most likely) Of course, you could find SUCCESS in Arkansas, of that I am sure. I've been there!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 7:22 AM

Jackson County, Arkansas 315 Road, was commonly known as the Possum Grape Road back in "the Day", so vernacular and anectdotal knowledge use by the ARK-DOT is in play here........Oil Trough is between Newport and Batesville on "the old highway". My great-grandpa is buried west of Oil Trough, AR, in a cemetery along the river. Y'all be nice to my kin, ya hear???Always love a good blog, MD, regards, kkr

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 4:55 PM

Get Ready, Biblio-Buddy! The Disenchanted Princess, by Julie Linker, is a novel set in...you guessed it--Possum Grape, Arkansas. I have to read it. It appears to be a fun YA read! I'm going to look for it. What could be better than to be the Possum Queen? There are pictures of Possum Grape posted on a photo site, but they are not so enticing. I do believe it is there--somewhere in Jackson County.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 5:57 PM

Oh, my goodness! Who would have thought that so many people would come up with information about a non-town named Possum Grape?? But Gone now, I cannot believe there is a novel set in Possum Grape! Gotta get on Amazon.com and order that one!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 8:56 PM

I live in possum grape, my road is not gravel, you must have gone the wrong way when getting off the freeway. its not ten miles of gravel, more like one mile then you come to old hwy 67 and thats if u turned left off the exit. we do not have a post office so our address is listed as a Bradford address. we have a liquor store and a lot of farms and churches. nothing else here but us hillfolk ;) we had a restaraunt but not anymore.

-- Posted by edslady on Sat, Sep 15, 2012, at 12:29 AM

oh and I forgot to mention Harmon monuments. that's where they make tombstones . we also have a river and a lake to go fishing :) we have a scrap yard as well. there are a lot of people who live here in this small town. I moved here because land and homes are super cheap! and it's not too far from a bigger town. if you were on old 67 you would've seen the monument place and the liquor store and a bunch of houses on both sides of the road. perhaps you were going too fast and missed it.

-- Posted by edslady on Sat, Sep 15, 2012, at 12:50 AM

Edslady, I'm so glad I saw your post. When we hit hwy 67, should we have gone north, away from Little Rock or south toward Little Rock?

I guess readers do go back and read some of my old blogs!

-- Posted by Madeline1 on Thu, Sep 27, 2012, at 6:30 AM

I was born and raised in possumgrape and lived there for 47 years from 1951 to 2000. theres not much I dont know about Possum Grape.The actual real name of it was Grand Glaize.The post office was ran by a man named Walt Waring out of his home.His old home is still lived in right next to the railroad track.It was the Grand Glaize Arkansas post office.But it was always known as Possum Grape.The Possum Grape store was the backbone of the community for many many years and when it closed for good in about 1998 that changed everything.Up unti about 1998 it was a bustling busy spot.Gene and Rita Mingo ran the store for about the last 30 years it was open.they were two wonderful people that generated alot of business and when they sold out it just died.But there is still a liquor store,a monument company,a horse trailer factory and a couple of churches.The population is probably about maybe 100.

-- Posted by rex.pool@yahoo.com on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 8:28 PM


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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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