Motherland of Civil Rights in the Arkansas Delta
Elaine is situated between the Mississippi and White Rivers, making the soil among the richest in the world. Elaine also was home to one of the worst race massacres in U.S. history. During the Red Summer of 1919, Elaine, along with many other prosperous Black communities, was terrorized, its Black inhabitants hunted down and murdered indiscriminately. The oral narratives of descendants of that massacre weave a powerful story that must be heard. But the history of Elaine is more than the history of a massacre. The history of Elaine reflects the resilience, the hope, and the innovation of all communities in southern Phillips County.
Phillips County is home to a host of heritage and adventure tourism opportunities. The new Delta Heritage Bike Trail has a trailhead at Elaine next to the Memorial Willow Tree planted just across the street from the museum. Additionally, down the road is the historic Lake View Resettlement Project and the beautiful cypresses of Long Lake. The Elaine Museum will provide an insight into the rich and complex histories of the Arkansas Delta through this landscape and the historical lens of the Massacre of 1919.