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Monte Ne Rises From the Ruins: New Book Chronicles Coin Harvey's Date With Destiny
By Becca Bacon Martin   - 10/26/2006

The Morning News

More Info on This Book: Historic Monte Ne

Allyn Lord, former assistant director of the Rogers Historical Museum and now director of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, has a long association with "Coin" Harvey and the resort he created, Monte Ne.

"Working in museums in Northwest Arkansas for 24 years, I've learned that historic Monte Ne is one of the most popular topics for area residents," Lord says. "(But) thousands of visitors who come to Monte Ne every year have little knowledge of what they're looking at, let alone the more complex history of the site." Lord says she wrote "Historic Monte Ne," recently released by Arcadia Publishing, to "provide the context by which visitors can understand and appreciate" Harvey's dream.

Most important, she says, is encouraging people to "work for the preservation and interpretation of historic Monte Ne so it can continue to interest and excite generations to come."

Lord will sign copies of the book, published in cooperation with the Rogers Historical Museum, from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the museum in downtown Rogers. Books will be available for $19.99. Information: 621-1154.

From the book, here's a glimpse into the history of William Hope Harvey and Monte Ne:

1851 -- William Hope Harvey was born on a farm near Buffalo in what was then Virginia (now West Virginia).
1857 -- The first grist mill was built on Silver Springs Creek 5 miles southeast of Rogers.

1876 -- Harvey married Anna Halliday, whom he met in Gallipolis, Ohio.

1883 -- Harvey moved his family to Colorado, where he ran the Silver Bell mine.

1888 --Harvey abandoned the mine and moved to Pueblo, Colo., where he took up real estate development.

1890 -- Silver Springs had become a destination for those seeking cool temperatures, good fishing and a chance to socialize.

1893 --Harvey began a series of short paperback books called Coin's Financial Series. The success of the books, especially 1984's "Coin's Financial School," sent Harvey on the road around the country.

1899 -- Harvey purchased a small acreage in Silver Springs. His first task was to create a lagoon, saying "the wonderful clearness and freshness of this water excites instant comment." The Rogers Democrat said the new lake was "so clear it looks like pure alcohol."

1901 -- Harvey began in earnest to build a resort. A bridge was built to cross the north end of the lagoon, just south of where Oklahoma Row was eventually constructed, and twin stone bridges became the walkways to the first hotel, Hotel Monte Ne, a three-story frame building with two 300-foot wings. At the May 4 grand opening, a ball filled the dining room and Japanese lanterns lighted the porches.

1902 -- The railroad spur to Monte Ne was finally completed, and Harvey had already imported a gondola to carry guests from the train depot to the hotel.

1904 -- Harvey formed the Monte Ne Club House Hotel and Cottage Company to build five hotels, including one that was planned to include an 18-foot waterfall.

1905 -- The first of the structures, Missouri Row, opened in September. That year, Harvey also opened the Bank of Monte Ne.

1906 -- Harvey copyrighted the theme song Edward Wolfe of Rogers had written for the resort: "Beautiful Monte Ne."

1907 -- Construction on Oklahoma Row began.

1908 -- A meeting of the Fox Hunters Association drew 100 people to Monte Ne. Fox hunting remained popular in the area into the mid-1920s.

1909 -- Oklahoma Row opened.

1910 -- The indoor swimming pool at Monte Ne, built by Harvey's son, Hal, and brother-in-law Ernest Halliday, was the most popular Sunday outing in the area.

1913 -- Harvey formed the Ozark Trails Association to promote better roads -- and to mark them so that all roads led to Monte Ne!

1919 -- The OTA published the official Ozark Trails Route Book, and 10,000 copies were mailed out from Monte Ne.

1920 -- Harvey began to believe there would be a catastrophic end to civilization and planned a 130-foot obelisk, the Pyramid, in which he would create a time capsule for the future.

1923 -- Construction of an amphitheater was begun as part of the "Pyramid" project.

1928 -- The amphitheater was dedicated before a crowd of about 500. During a single four-month period, some 20,000 people came to see Harvey's creation.

1929 --Harvey incorporated the Pyramid Association to continue his work after his death, but he had exhausted his funds on the amphitheater, and the Pyramid was never built.

1936 -- Harvey died at his home in Monte Ne. He was buried in the tomb he had built for his son Hal in 1903.

1944 -- Missouri Row was sold and, over the next decade, it was torn down and parts of it sold off. The bank was sold and converted into the Atlas Manufacturing Company, but that venture lasted only a short time in the structure. Mostly, it stood empty.

1948 --Harvey's home was turned into a restaurant.

1955 -- The Club House Hotel became an antique store.

1962 -- Work had begun in 1960 to create Beaver Lake, and in 1962, the Harvey tomb was moved to higher ground.

1977 -- The lake dropped to its lowest level since its creation, and thousands of sightseers came to view the amphitheater as it emerged from the water.

1978 --The amphitheater was placed on the National Regional of Historic Sites.

Buy It Now: Historic Monte Ne $21.99

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