Special program on the life of enslaved Aaron “Rock” Van Winkle

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Date(s) - 09/18/2022
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Hobbs State Park visitor Center



The Thought-Provoking Story of Enslaved Aaron “Rock” Van Winkle – to be Presented at Hobbs State Park


Slavery in the U.S. had its dreadful place in history.  We hear stories of enslaved individuals, yet not always of the accounts of the significant and lasting contributions that these individuals made to businesses that fueled the remarkable growth of the United States in the 1800’s.

In many instances we think of enslaved people planting, cultivating, and harvesting cotton in the south.  Here in NW Arkansas, part of the “upper south”, slavery had a unique setting.  It was “industry”.  It was here in an industrial setting at the Peter Van Winkle Mill site in what is now Hobbs State Park, that “Rock”, an enslaved man, aided in making the Van Winkle Mill a regional, economic powerhouse of its day.

Jerry Moore and Chris Huggard, instructors at Northwest Arkansas Community College, spent several years researching the impact that “Rock” had on the Van Winkle mill operation.  “Rock” was highly respected in the area by both blacks and whites.  He often ate at the Van Winkle table and was always at Peter Van Winkle’s side as they walked together down the streets of Rogers.  Following the Civil War, Rock ‘s position was elevated to manager of the mill, the largest sawmill in Arkansas during the 1870’s.

“Rock’s” positive and redeeming story can now be told.  Please join Jerry Moore and Chris Huggard at Hobbs State Park as they share the details of “Rock’s” life.


Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

When: Sunday September 18, 2022

Time:  2:00 pm

Cost:  The event is free and open to the public

For more information, call Hobbs State Park:  479-789-5000