What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Journey: The Canehill Water Wheel

Journey's have been in short supply around here as of late.  It's hot outside.  We are all busy.  The Breadman still has his AWFUL job with AWFUL hours.  It seems I am always looking for things for the booth, pricing things for the booth or going to one of the booths.  Then, of course, I am always doing the same for The Junk Ranch.  Right now I am knee deep in Christmas merchandise and constantly on the hunt for MORE.  I need more for the Junk Ranch and possibly for ME.  :)  Actually, I have been going through my own Christmas trying to let some go.  I have way more vintage ornaments than I can ever display, but I am afraid if I sell any I will (GOD FORBID) break some of my pretties.  Anyway, cooler weather as far as junk and journey's cannot come fast enough to please me. 

The Cane Hill Water Wheel.

The Pyeatte-Moore Mill was built in the town of  Cane Hill, Arkansas in 1830, then later moved to this location outside of town a bit in 1902.

It was once a huge building and booming business.  You can see that all that remains is the stone bottom floor and the wheel.  Where that man is standing there were huge stones making the foundation.  

They are down in the bottom in the water now.  

The wheel was completely able to turn and touch the water back then.

Now it's all overgrown and the water is just a small amount way beneath the wheel.  I have seen the water rushing after a big rainstorm.  But, for the most part, it's always pretty low.

The very small town of Cane Hill is also home to the Caner Hill College established in 1835 until it was closed during the Civil War to make a hospital for soldiers then reopened in 1875.  This was a Seminary School for both men and women, but later became an all women's college.  The building remains and is currently being renovated.

In the college there is a architectural rendering of the former Pyeatte -Moore Mill with a collection box nearby calling for a full restoration of the Mill as a historic landmark.  That would be a grand venture.  

Each time I visit the old wheel, it falls deeper and deeper into disrepair.  Here are the steps where the man in the old photo was standing.  

Right up there.  

The wheel is no longer attached to the old foundation.  

It is slowly tipping to the side.  One day I fear it will fall completely or break off at the rusted areas. Some of the slats on the top are completely missing as well as most of the ones on the bottom.  One day when we were visiting, I found one of those slats up by the highway.  

Of course, the locals have all had to make their mark on the old wheel.  

Years and years of names on top of names.  It is vandalism and a bad thing,  But, the combination of the old rust and the chippy names is interesting too.

It's a wonder no one has died climbing up to the top of the old 36 foot wheel to write their names on it.  

There have been a few Memorial crosses show up on the other side under the highway and occasionally on the steps by the wheel.  I really don't want to know what happened or when.  *I decided to google it and Michael Curtis was 52 and died in 2013.  I assume a car accident, but I don't know.  Didn't mean to bring this post down....

But, since I did - you might want to read about the infamous Cane Hill Murders in 1839.  A man and his four children were killed which led to a lynching.  It's an interesting story.  Funny how I never like history in school, but I love the local history and the Civil War history in my area.  I guess seeing it and getting out in it is much different than reading about it in a text book.  

It makes me sad that this piece of history is crumbling and has become a place for high school beer drinking and vandalism.  When we go there we appreciate if for what it was then and for what it is now.  Historic.

Pieces of the old equipment are still visible under the tall unkempt grass and weeds.  

It's still a very interesting place to visit.  Calm and serene.  

If you ever come to visit me,  I will take you there!  


  1. Very nice post. Reminds me of a similar place in the county where I grew up.

  2. I love places like that but it is hard to see them vandalized and crumbling. Still beautiful and very peaceful.

  3. Love the history tour and lesson. It would be really nice if they would get in there and clean it up. Would make a nice backdrop for photographers.

  4. This is a lovely post Shara... But I'd rather go looking for junk with you if I ever got to come visit! 8-)

    1. Well DUH! Of COURSE we'll go junkin!!! But a little sight seeing along the way.......:)

  5. That water wheel evokes what I love - steampunk! Cool read - thanks for the back-in-the day pictures.

    1. It is rather Steampunk, isn't it? Industrial and cool!

  6. Great post. Shara. It's sad to see places like this falling into disrepair.

  7. Shara I loved reading this post. Yes, it is a heartbreak when people don't respect the history around them!


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