The creation of lakes and reservoirs often results in the creation of submerged ghost towns that often become lost to memory. Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas covers a once luxury resort, and the ruins can be seen today. The resort boasted three hotels, a golf course, a tennis court, and the state's first indoor swimming pool. Two of its hotels were among the largest log buildings in the world.
Today it is on the edge of Beaver Lake in the stunning Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. It existed from 1901 to the mid-1930s. In Nevada's Clark County is an abandoned Mormon ghost town called St. Thomas that was submerged by the creation of Lake Mead (when the water is low, it can be seen today).
Monte Ne - The Luxury Hotel Of The Ozarks
Monte Ne was created by a teacher, lawyer, silver mine owner, and entrepreneur called William Harvey. He bought the land in the 1900s to create the ideal vacation destination in the Ozarks. The name he chose for the community was "Monte Ne" - "Monte" being Spanish for "mountain" while "Ne" is a Native American word for "water."
Monte Ne was located around 5 miles south of Rogers, Arkansas. In those times, people didn't come by car. Instead, people came from miles around by train to stay at the luxury resort. To accommodate the guests, he had an extra five miles of train tracks laid.
In its day, Monte Ne was billeted as "The only place in America where a gondola meets the train." At the end of the train line, imported Italian gondolas took the holidaymakers across the lagoon to the hotels.
Activities at Monte Ne included fishing, boating, fox hunts, bands, and more. In 1905 a stay at the resort cost $1 a day and $6 for a week's stay.
History Of Monte Ne & Owner William Harvey
William Harvey initially formed the Monte Ne Investment Company using $48,000 of his own money and $52,000 of investors' money. The first hotel was completed in 1901. The hotel stood three stories high and had two wings.
His plans for building five large hotels were never fully realized. He sold the Hotel Monte Ne, and the hotel went through several name changes, including the White Hotel in around 1912, the Randola Inn in 1918, the Hotel Frances in 1925, and the Sleepy Valley Hotel in 1930.
At one point, William Harvey was even a Presidential nominee. He formed the Liberty Party, and they held their national convention at Monte Ne. It was anticipated that 10,000 delegates would attend, although only 786 actually turned up. It was the only presidential convention to be held in Arkansas.
In the end, the Liberty Party merged with the Jobless Party while Harvey ran for president as an independent. He came fifth, getting around 53,000 votes. Franklin D. Roosevelt won the election, overwhelmingly beating Herbert Hoover.
Submerging & The Ruins Of Monte Ne Today
The Monte Ne resort did not turn out to be financially successful, and it went into bankruptcy soon after Harvey's death in 1936. It was then sold off in lots, and it was inundated with the creation of Beaver Lake in 1964.
The complex died in stages, with the larger hotels continuing to be active for longer. The large hotels, Missouri Row and Oklahoma Row, came to be schools for boys and girls, respectively.
Today the area is owned and managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and has a boat ramp.
- Submerged: In 1964
- Resort Period: 1901 to the 1930s
The Oklahoma Row was one of the hotels and was one of the earliest examples of a multi-story concrete structure. It is now the only structure of the health resort still standing that can be seen at normal lake levels.
Over the years, the ruins of Monte Ne have been vandalized and neglected. Some ruins are now reportedly surrounded by tall fencing and graffiti. The fence was erected after some had to be rescued by the fire department after someone got stuff in the chimney.
- Listed: On The National Register Of Historic Places
- Status: In A Poor, Vandalized State
When the water levels of the lake are low, more of the ruins emerge. People can see the upper part of the amphitheater and the retaining wall that was built for the pyramid (that was never built). Visitors can see the basements of the hotels and massive concrete chairs. Some hotels (like the Oklahoma Row) were moved from their original location.
People can also dive into the lake to see the ruins - the water is reasonably clear, and the water temperatures are ok.