Lake Village, Arkansas 2020

With a name like Lake Village, there’s plenty of water to enjoy renowned fishing and evening excursions with the alligators. Lake Village, Arkansas is more than crystal clear waters. It contains Lake Chicot, the largest oxbow lake in North America, and an abandoned channel of the Mississippi River. Located just over an hour from Little Rock, Arkansas on the scenic Great River Road Scenic Byway, enjoy an afternoon stroll through Jack R. Rhodes Lakefront Park or visit the historic Lakeport Plantation.

Lake Village Geography and Climate

Morning mist rises from Lake Chicot in Lake Village, Arkansas.

Lake Village is part of Chicot County in the southeastern corner of the US state of Arkansas. Lake Village is located in a geographic area known as the Mississippi Delta which covers the banks of the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers and their tributaries on the Arkansas and Louisiana sides. The area is composed of 17,870 km2 of alluvial mixtures of clay, silt and rock. It is called the “the southernmost place on earth” because of its culture, ethos, ancient slave trade economy, and agricultural importance of cotton growing.

Lake Village experiences a humid subtropical climate with long, wet summers and short, mild winters. During the year, Lake Village receives 1292mm of precipitation from hail and rain. This is strongly influenced by warm air off the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the month of August registers the least rainfall with an average of 81 mm and the month of April the most with 134 mm. August is the hottest month with a median temperature of 28.6°C and January is the coldest month with a median temperature of 7.5°C.

History of the lake village

Beautifully engraved bell sits outside Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village, Arkansas
A beautifully engraved bell sits outside of Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village, Arkansas.

In 1541, a band of Spanish travelers known as Hernando de Soto and his men arrived on the banks of the Mississippi. They were welcomed by a Native American tribe led by Chief Chicot, who traded animal skins for clothing and food. Hernando de Soto died a year later and without documentation of Chief Chicot in his journals. Therefore, the origins of the name Chicot cannot be certain whether it comes from the Native American chief or from the French word for “strain,” a nod to the cypress knees of the Mississippi Delta. The 1830s and 1840s saw the region’s first white settlers who owned plantations, slave labor and produced cotton. Joel Johnston bought a piece of land on the Mississippi River, calling it the Lakeport Plantation. Lake Village was considered the largest slaveholder in Arkansas, with 3,894 slaves in 1850. In the 1860s, Johnston’s son Lycurgus made Lakeport Plantation one of the most successful plantations in Arkansas. ‘Arkansas, with 155 slaves and 4,500 acres. In June 1864, Lake Village found itself at the forefront of the Old River Engagement, a battle in which Confederate and Union soldiers fought. Consequently, many wounded soldiers filled the homes and plantations of Lake Village awaiting medical aid, and looting and destruction of property followed, including a melee over the town newspaper.

The population and economy of Lake Village

Lake Village has a population of 2,065 according to the last US census. Encompassing an area of ​​6.19 km2, Lake Village has a population density of 333.65 people per km2. The median household income is $53,306, with a gross monthly rent of $559. The average age of a resident is 43.6 years old. On the cost of living index, Lake Village is rated at 77, while the state of Arkansas is at 85. Lake Village’s economy is made up of a total workforce of 872 people . With 117 working in catering and accommodation, 113 in health and social care and 109 in public administration. The highest paying jobs are in transportation, warehousing and utilities, with annual revenues of $48,750 and government contribution of $46,731.

Attractions in Lake Village

Lakeport Plantation

The road leads to Lakeport Plantation in the Mississippi Delta region of Arkansas.
A road leads to Lakeport Plantation in the Mississippi Delta region of Arkansas.

Part of the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Lakeport Plantation is the last example of an antebellum house on the Mississippi River still standing in its original condition. Today, the plantation serves as a museum showcasing Johnston’s history, crop sharing and the property’s slave past.

Lake Chicot State Park

This 20-mile lake park is known for year-round fishing and, near the Mississippi River, is one of the largest flyways in the United States, ideal for bird watching. Lake Chicot State Park offers guided levee and lake tours, as well as evening alligator tours. On the other hand, there are 122 campsites and 14 cabins with kitchen available. Additionally, there is also a large pavilion for large gatherings and laundry on site. With a boat launch inside the park, there are motorboat and personal watercraft rentals for a fee.

Notre-Dame-du-Lac Catholic Church Museum

Facing Lac Chicot, the Notre-Dame-du-Lac Catholic Church was erected in 1866. Thus, in 1939, the brick building used today was built to replace the original church. The new building features details and inspiration associated with Roman Catholic and Byzantine architecture. The church has a collection of documents related to the immigration of Italians to the region, as well as rare photographs of the original church and letters from Italy.

Lake Village is a unique lake community with deep roots, like the cypresses of the Mississippi River. Divided ideologies over the slave trade causing a confrontation of Confederate and Union soldiers to the rise of the city with the largest slave ownership. Lake Village is nothing like the cotton-picking past that gave this area an agricultural purpose, but a lush and thriving paradise for anglers looking to catch catfish, bluegill, and bluegill year-round. , sea bream and redeared sunfish.

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