Pea Ridge, Arkansas

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Pea Ridge is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The name Pea Ridge comes from a combination of the physical location of the original settlement of the town, across the crest of an Ozark Mountains ridge, and for the hog peanuts or turkey peas that had been originally cultivated by Native American tribes centuries before European settlement, which later helped to provide basic subsistence once those pioneer settlers arrived. The rural town is best known as the location of the pivotal American Civil War engagement the Battle of Pea Ridge, or, as it is locally known, the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, which took place approximately five miles east of the town. The site of the battle is preserved as the Pea Ridge National Military Park. The town's downtown business district is on the National Register of Historic Places and largely comprises commercial structures from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The population was 2,346 at the 2000 census. It is part of the FayettevilleSpringdaleRogers, AR-MO Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Pre-pioneer history

While the official governmental history of Pea Ridge dates to the establishment of a post office in 1850, the area actually has a history of human habitation stretching back centuries prior.

Archeologists from the University of Arkansas have determined the first people to occupy the area were Bluff Dwellers or Rock Shelter Indians. By the artifacts, arrowheads, rock hammers, and crude knives which have been found, they can actually tell which Indians were here first. They also note that for each period of time there was a vast improvement in their relics. During this time several families lived together because the caves or shelters under bluffs were larger. These shelters were always near to a clear spring of bubbling water.

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