RUSH — It is called a “ghost town,” but Rush gives visitors a true look at an once striving community in rural Marion County along the Buffalo River.
There are still five buildings left in Rush. The 1.7 mile hike will allow people to catch a glimpse of how things were in the early 1900s.
The Buffalo National River has acquired the land and is now the caretaker of the properties that are located there. The community is noted as a historic district.
There are three trails in the area with one of the trails being more than 3.8 miles in length and giving hikers views of the once rich mining range in the area.
The shorter trail gives interested people a view of the living quarters and businesses in the area. There is also an interpretive trail that is around a quarter of a mile that has historical information.
To understand the Rush Ghost Town, people have to understand the history of the community.
Settlers to Rush were looking for silver. Instead, after mining the hills, they discovered zinc ore. This ore became very popular during World War I. The ore was used primarily for casings. It was during the war that the zinc prices tripled creating the Rush mining boom.
The United State census showed the population of Marion County as 10,203 in 1910. It showed the population in 1920 as 10,154.
However, what happened between those dates is another story. The community of Rush grew to more than 5,000 men. They worked the mines averaging nine to 10 hours a day. The pay ranged from $.19 to $.35 an hour based on the job. Occupations ranged from shovelers, hoistmen, drillmen, powdermen and waterboys.
The community had infrastructure that included hotels, livery stables, two saloons, general stores, a post office and even doctor offices.
These are the part of the buildings that remain standing today.
The hike around the Rush community can be walked or it can be driven. The buildings are located on Marion County road 6035. Hikers with disabilities can see the buildings without having to move from their automobiles.
Out of the five buildings that still standing along the road, one was the post office; one was the post office; and the others served as homes.
There is a pavilion past the ghost town that serves as the trailhead for the three trails. There is a parking area located there and it is located on the ruins of the Morning Star Hotel. The ghost town hike will lead walkers up and down the county road to reach many spots.
The rock wall for one of the hotels is located east of the pavilion while the buildings are located west of the parking area.
A large rock smelter was built in 1886 and is located near the parking area. The original prospectors built this for mining silver. After no silver was found, the trio of men sold it to the Morning Star Mine Company. Morning Star was the leader in the area of mining and last used the structure in 1989.
The two-story rock structure is still standing and in good shape after 133 years.
Part of the trails at Rush were originally used for horses to transport ore.
The Buffalo River was too shallow to barge the minerals. So working mules and horses were used to haul the heavy loads to the White River. The teams traveled to Buffalo City which was a near 25 mile trip over very difficult circumstances.
Later the railroad arrived in Yellville making the trip easier for the miners.
Rush was a boom town. It served its purpose in helping the Allies win World War I.
Now, the town serves as a piece of history that can be visited to help maintain a healthy life style.
Take Highway 14 south of Yellville. When reaching the Caney population sign on the north side of the town, travel 1.3 miles and turn left on Marion County 6035, Stay on this road for 5 miles. The last half of a mile will be a steep grade. At the bottom of the hill, the paved road turns to gravel. The graveled road travels to Rush. It also goes to the Buffalo National River that allows adventurist to float, swim, hike or camp.