Historian Tom Wing and I are trying to finish our Historical Novel, “Julia and Maud,” a prequel to “Garrison Avenue.” While doing research to understand the era in question, authors like me rely heavily on the work of historians…both those who have long passed and those who are still documenting an era of interest. As part of our research, we discovered two big events that bookend the story we are telling…the explosion of 1894 and the “cyclone” of 1898. While both inflicted significant damage to downtown Fort Smith, the first is poorly remembered as best we can tell, while the second lives on in books and newspaper accounts and pictures and short videos like this put together by historians.
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