SNOW HALL AT SNOWBALL

This is Snow Hall, the Masonic Lodge at the center of the town of Snowball. If you've read many of my stories on this website, you've probably already guessed that this is another story where some Arkansas town got named or got its name changed due to a clerical error. That is the case with Snowball, and it's pretty much the story you're imagining right now. An "H" sent from Arkansas on the post office application was transcribed in Washington as a "B" and there you have it.

This lodge was established in 1887 and the original building was replaced in 1944, each stone dug up locally and hand set by the members themselves. Look at the size of some of the stones in that wall and note that some of the big ones are in the second story. This isn't a flagstone veneer. These rocks run as deep as the the thickness of the wall.

I notice the largest ones are the lower course of the second story and that their size tapers off as they run to the left. I also notice the stones on the lower story are more regular and are set in more even courses. The psychology of fatigue comes into play at some point and they start wondering about the wisdom of wasting time and materials just for the sake of squaring off stones that would sit just as well once they were buttered up anyway. And besides, there was a war on. They probably also quarried a big pile of stones and used their best materials first, which would also account for the same thing.

The the man whose name appears on the lodge was the local sheriff, Ben F. Snow; and the cornerstone from the earlier building is incorporated into the walls of this one. You can visit Snow Hall on highway 377 southwest of Marshall.

RTJ--12/17/2004

Sources:

Earngey, Bill; Arkansas Roadsides, A Guidebood for the State; East Mountain Press and August House, Little Rock, p. 80.


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