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'Plantation Homes of Arkansas' to premiere on AETN Dec. 2

Posted 25 Oct 2013

"Plantation Homes of Arkansas," a thirty-minute documentary hosted by Chuck Dovish, will premiere on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) Monday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 p.m. The film will rebroadcast Saturday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m.

During the 1800s, individuals from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia travelled to Arkansas and the rich river soil of the Mississippi River Delta to grow what was quickly becoming the king of all crops – cotton. As the planters' fields and fortunes grew, the Arkansas Delta began to yield another icon of the era. Stately plantation homes, created with a unique architectural style, were being raised along the state's fertile eastern swath.

Three remaining structures, steeped in southern history and victors in a battle with time, will be featured in "Plantation Homes of Arkansas." Host Chuck Dovish invites audiences to tour Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village – the only remaining Arkansas plantation home along the Mississippi River; Elms Plantation in Altheimer – now a bed and breakfast inn; and Marlsgate Plantation Mansion in Scott – popularly known as "a mansion of Arkansas."

"The Lakeport Plantation house was largely unchanged since the day it was built in 1859, so it was the perfect candidate for high-level restoration," Dr. Blake Wintory of Arkansas State University said. "It's now one of Arkansas's premier historic structures."

In addition to exploring the homes' architectural value, the documentary will allow viewers to experience the plantation culture of the 19th century, which illuminated the rich historical and cultural heritage of the American South. "Plantation Homes of Arkansas" introduces the habits and traditions of the people who inhabited the plantations, along with the triumphs and tragedies of the past, preserved in homes that will allow history to come alive for this and future generations.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit, or follow the AETN blog at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).