Pocahontas, Arkansas: The Pocahontas Meteor

On the front lawn of the Randolph County Courthouse sits a rock from space, if you completely ignore what scientists think.

Randolph County Courthouse

Address:
107 W. Broadway St., Pocahontas, AR
Directions:
Hwy 67 North. Upon entering Pocahontas, follow signs to "Randolph County Courthouse," right off the Hwy. The meteor is displayed in a place of honor on a grassy plaza in front of the courthouse.
Admission:
Free.
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Meteor.

Pocahontas Meteor

We parked at the old courthouse, at a typical western-style town square, thinking it was the site. After walking around and not finding the meteorite, we thought maybe the town had wised up and removed it. On our way back to the car we noticed a very nice veterans memorial and decided to look closer at it. Turns out there is a newer courthouse, just across from the old one. There, down a large set of stairs and behind the veterans monument, in a small fenced-in area, is the meteorite.

When you look at it, anyone who has ever visited another meteorite, or a museum with a meteorite, can tell that this one is just a big rock. Still, the town is a great example of small-town Americana.

There is another park, not far away, overlooking the Black River, and there are signs indicating other Civil War and Trail of Tears history sites nearby.

[Dana Molnar, 08/09/2018]

Pocahontas Meteorite

In 1859, a local farmer found this huge [1,000 lb] rock in the Black River and told everybody it was a meteorite. It was placed on the front lawn of the Randolph County Courthouse in Pocahontas, AR where it proudly remains today.

University of Arkansas geologists informed the locals that the rock is definitely NOT a meteorite decades ago, but the locals refuse to retract their tourist attraction!

[Bryan Quattlebaum, 06/24/2010]

Chiseled into the face of the rock: "This Meteor Fell July 1859." The descendants of its discoverer donated it to the town for the Arkansas Sesquicentennial in 1986. Pocahontas isn't pushing the shaky meteor story so much these days. There's a Pocahontas Indian Princess statue, though. May 2015: Photo added.

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December 12, 2018

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