Imagine a luxury resort with three hotels, a golf course, a tennis court, and the state’s first indoor swimming pool. Imagine a place where you could arrive by train and take a gondola across a lagoon to your destination. Imagine a place where you could enjoy fishing, boating, fox hunts, bands, and more. Now imagine that this place is submerged under water, and only a few ruins remain visible.
This is the story of Monte Ne, an underwater ghost town in Arkansas that was once one of the greatest attractions of the Ozarks. Monte Ne was created by William Harvey, a teacher, lawyer, silver mine owner, and entrepreneur who had a vision of building the ideal vacation destination in the Ozarks. He bought the land in the 1900s and named it Monte Ne, which means “mountain water” in Spanish and Native American. He invested his own money and raised funds from investors to construct the resort, which opened in 1901.
The Rise and Fall of Monte Ne
Monte Ne was a success at first, attracting visitors from all over the country who came by train to stay at the resort. The resort boasted two of the largest log buildings in the world, called Oklahoma Row and Missouri Row, which served as hotels and convention centers. The resort also had a third hotel, called the Hotel Monte Ne, which was later sold and renamed several times. The resort also had a bank, a post office, a general store, a newspaper, and a school.
However, Monte Ne’s glory days did not last long. Harvey faced financial difficulties and legal troubles, and his plans to expand the resort never materialized. He also became involved in politics, forming the Liberty Party and running for president in 1932. He held his national convention at Monte Ne, but only a few hundred delegates showed up. Harvey died in 1936, and his property was sold off in lots.
The Submerging of Monte Ne
Monte Ne’s fate was sealed in 1964, when the White River was dammed to create Beaver Lake, a reservoir that covers 28,220 acres and has 487 miles of shoreline. The lake flooded most of Monte Ne, leaving only a few structures above water. The most prominent of these is the concrete tower section of Oklahoma Row, which stands as a graffiti-covered monument to the past. The submerged amphitheater, where Harvey held his convention, is also visible when the water level is low. The rest of the resort lies underwater, forgotten by most people.
The Ruins of Monte Ne Today
Today, Monte Ne is a curiosity for history buffs, explorers, and fishermen who visit Beaver Lake. The ruins can be seen from the shore or by boat, and some people even dive to see the underwater remains. The ruins are also a reminder of the changing landscape and the impact of human development on nature. Monte Ne is not the only underwater ghost town in the US; there are many others that have been submerged by lakes and reservoirs, such as St. Thomas in Nevada, which was flooded by Lake Mead.
Monte Ne is a fascinating example of a dream that turned into a nightmare, a resort that turned into a ruin, and a town that turned into a lake. It is a place that most people have forgotten, but that still holds a mystery and a charm for those who seek it.
Monte Ne was an underwater ghost town in Arkansas that was once a luxury resort in the Ozarks. It was created by William Harvey, a visionary entrepreneur who wanted to build the ideal vacation destination. However, his project failed due to financial and legal problems, and his property was sold off. In 1964, the White River was dammed to create Beaver Lake, which flooded most of Monte Ne. Only a few ruins remain visible today, and they attract visitors who are interested in the history and the mystery of Monte Ne. Monte Ne is a place that most people have forgotten, but that still has a story to tell.