Calico Rock Museum Holds Reception to Honor Dean Hudson on January 13th


The Calico Rock Museum & Visitor Center will host a reception to honor founding museum board member Dean Hudson on Saturday, January 13. The reception will be at 11:00 a.m. in the Murphy Gallery of the Heritage & Visitor Center. The Calico Rock Museum & Visitor Center is located on Main Street in Calico Rock.

Mr. Hudson and a handful of other civic leaders went to the city council in 2008 to ask permission to form the Calico Rock Museum. At the time the council granted the request, they agreed for the museum to locate in the back half of their visitor center on Main Street. Since that time, the museum has grown by leaps and bounds.

Under the leadership of Mr. Hudson and the museum’s board, the museum system now includes a heritage and visitor center, art and science center, education center, two retail stores, and a café. “None of this growth would have been possible with Dean Hudson’s vision, leadership and support,” noted museum executive director Gloria Sanders.

Mr. Hudson and his wife, Peggy, along with Peggy’s parents, Tip and Retha Wiseman, founded White River Health Care in the 1970’s. The business continues to operate today with Mr. Hudson’s grandson, Lucas, managing the company. The Hudsons have been civic leaders working actively in the Lions Club, 20/20, CRIDC, and Chamber. “If there was a civic meeting happening somewhere, Dean Hudson was there,” noted fellow museum board member Wayne Wood.

The public is invited to the ceremony to honor Mr. Hudson. Refreshments will follow. “We hope everyone will come and honor Dean, and Peggy, for their service to our community, especially the remaking of Main Street through the museum,” added Mrs. Sanders.

The Calico Rock Museum & Visitor Center is open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information, visit their website at or call 870-297-6100.

Calico Rock Museum Foundation
104 Main Street
Calico Rock, Arkansas 72519


Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.