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Happy Hollow: 1901

Hot Springs, Arkansas, circa 1901. "McLeod's cabin, Happy Hollow." A further note: "Possibly associated with Norman E. McLeod, photographer, and menagerie." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Hot Springs, Arkansas, circa 1901. "McLeod's cabin, Happy Hollow." A further note: "Possibly associated with Norman E. McLeod, photographer, and menagerie." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Following along this line of photgraphy

Were the stuffed (ex-live) horses in a bucking or rearing position at western destinations. They always seemed so "moth-eaten" as well. Maybe taxidermy wasn't what it is now.

That darn Elk!

I think the elk is lying just in front of the cabin in the photo posted by John Martini.

A couple of years ago, I accidentally found myself just a little too close to an elk (luckily a female or I wouldn't be here now) and trust me when I tell you that you don't want to be too close to an elk (aka wapiti), male or female, accidentally or otherwise.

I came away with a lot less blood, broken hands and some major bruising and was the talk of the nearby hospital.

Elk != deer

That looks more like a deer in the photo posted by John Martini. It's much smaller and the antlers are different.

And roll out the barrel...

Barrel staves work really well when building a barrel, but not so great making shingles....?

Nice Rack!

...on that elk.

I couldn't resist. How often can you say "Nice rack!" nowadays and not get into trouble?


Personally, I'd have posed with the wild boar that's lying just inside the doorway... or both... (it COULD be a bear, too... little hard to tell from just the moth-eaten nose).

Probably the one seen, here:

(Billy Bob Thornton was born in Hot Springs, AK, which may 'splain a few things...)

It Really Is True...

There IS one born every minute.

Another mystery solved

Here's a photo from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas entry on Happy Hollow showing the same cabin, dead elk, and a few other props including what appears to be a stuffed bear (or should it be "b'ar"?).

The latter is also just barely visible in the Shorpy photo, lying inside the doorway behind the butt of the rifle.

Thank goodness

I was more than a bit suspect of the signage, but that stuffed animal really gave me a turn. I am new at this old photography thing and should remember contrived pictures have probably been around as long as cameras. I really love this site.

More on Norm

Check out “Hot Springs, Arkansas,” page 102 and following.

Poor elk

His horns are coming unscrewed!

Happy Hollow

Pronounced "holler." So, when's lunch?

I don't buy it

Never mind the hokey misspelled signs written in chalk, with no chinking or daubing that cabin clearly was not in use. But, the forlorn animal sure looks to me as if it is a taxidermically preserved antique, plopped over on its side for the heroic photo. Such theatric, photographic fakery was already in place in 1901, and long before that time, no doubt.

A Razorback's Pride of Place

That's "Arkansaw" to you, boy!

Hee Haw 1.0

Norm McLeod's Happy Hollow was kind of the Dollywood of its day. Big on cornpone "hillbilly" humor.

Elk in Arkansas in 1901?!

According to this website Eastern elk weren't found in Arkansas after the 1840's and western elk weren't reintroduced until 1933. Did this fellow shoot "bigfoot" with his Trapdoor Springfield?

Shootin at some food

Well the next thing you know ole Jed's a millionare.

Happy Hollow?

The buck doesn't look too happy.


What a big flag you have!

Not so fast...

This photo really feels staged to me. The crude spellings of "Arkansaw" and "Muneshine" are a little much and if a cabin were truly as crude as this it would be a lot deeper in the woods (and not along this decently improved road). The clincher though was this "hunter's" trophy. That's an elk not a deer. Eastern Elk haven't been in Arkansas since the 1830's.

Fooled for a second

Had to look twice to realize that this was one of those prop scenes built so that tourist dollars could be captured in Hot Springs National Park. It was one of the most popular destinations early in the 20th century. Funny that Norman used an elk instead of a deer for his prop, though. Elk became extinct in Arkansas in about 1850. They were reintroduced in 1981 and now number about 500 in the Buffalo National River area.

Over the "Mune"

Love the turn of the century equivalent of duct tape on the rifle stock.

Cocked and locked.

Looks like his gun is ready to fire yet again.

This all looks a bit contrived. If this were real, he'd probably not be able to spell at all, let alone poorly.

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