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Rogers Historical Museum  

Photo of the Month

Silica Mining

Natural resources have been an important part of Rogers’ history. Lumber, agricultural products, and water contributed to the development of this community. Mineral wealth also boosted the local economy. Pictured at right is milling equipment used by the American Silica Mine to process silica in the 1920s.

Silica is a white or colorless crystalline compound, often chalk-like in nature, which is ground into a fine powder and used in rubbing and buffing agents, paints, glass, and concrete. It also found use in the oil industry as a mud compound used to line drilling shafts. Interestingly, silica is capable of absorbing its weight in water.

According to a mid 1930s newspaper article, “The deposit near Rogers is found on top of a hill of some 157 acres and outcrops in the ravines on the slopes of the hill. It is covered with a few feet of overburden made up of weathered material. At this time it is being mined through a shaft sunk into the deposit about 25 feet, with several drifts leading from this shaft at a point about 18 feet below the surface.” Tests from this period indicated that there was approximately 2,500,000 to 10,000,000 tons of the material at the site in deposits 10 to 85 feet thick.

The mid 1930s newspaper article further described the milling process, “The material is first hand shoveled into a tube or pebble mill where it is wet-ground to a fine mesh. This grinding is done by filling the mill, which is lined with silica bricks, with silica pebbles and adding water and rotating the mill which is mounted upon steel tires that rest on steel wheels or rollers.” Power for the mills was provided by electric motors. After being pulverized, the silica was then sent up elevators to dryers, where the particles were separated by air blowers. The finished product was sacked in 100 pound bags before being sent to market.

Several silica mining companies were here during the twentieth century and most of the operations seem to have been located east of Rogers along Pleasant Ridge Road in the area known today as Beaver Shores. By the mid 1950s to late 1960s, the Corona Silica Plant, the International Purasil, Inc., managed by Merlyn H. Kile, and Mid-Western Minerals/Mills, owned by Bob Dobbs, mined and processed silica in the Rogers area.


More Photos of the Month

Rogers Academy Class of 1896
Applegate Family
Bingham, George H.
John Black and Hugh “Tater” Black
Blackburn, J.A.C.
Blaylock, Sarah
Carter, C. Jimmie
Clarke, A.O.
Curry, Dr. William Jasper
Decker, Charles
Felker, William R.
Ford, Edsel
Funk, Erwin
Harvey, Coin
Hawkins, Harold and Frank Jr.
Hill, Fred
Jacobs, Thomas
Keck, Jack
Key, Vera
Kirksey, Birch
Lingle, Greer
Lockhart, Tracy
McNeil, Tom
Means, Joe
Morgan, Tom
Morsani, Al
Myler, John
The Sagers
Sikes, J. Wade

J.L. Shinpaugh, Rogers City Marshal
Steele, John Bell and Mary Van Winkle
Thaden, Louise
Rice, Dr. Rufus S.
Rogers, Betty Blake
Rogers, C.W.
Rogers Dough Boys
Rogers, Will

Tribble, Letsie
Truman Boling, Master Builder

Vick Will

Beaver Dam
Beaver Lake
Butterfield Trail
Camp Joyzelle
Confederate Monument
Coin Harvey’s Spring Lake and Falls
Lake Atalanta
Monte Ne
Old Highway 12 Bridge
Park Springs Park
War Eagle
The Amphitheater at Monte Ne
Silica Mining
Frisco Tunnel at Winslow
Wonderland Cave in Bella Vista
The Ozark Bluff Dwellers
Fisherman's Camp
Kruse's Gold Mine
Highway 71
Hanging Tree


The Apple Industry
Callahan's Station
Cattle Ranching
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Daisy Manufacturing
Decker Motor Co.
Dyke Lumber Co.
Hailey Motor Co.
House of Webster
McNeil Chevrolet
Poultry Industry
Pressing Sorghum Cane
Rogers Champion
Rogers Hardware Co.
Rogers Transfer & Storage
Suzie-Q Malt Shop


Rogers Academy
Rogers High School
Sunnyside Elementary School

The Applegate house
112 South First Street
Bank Of Rogers Building
Benton County Jail
B.F. Sikes Log Cabin
Central Methodist Episcopal Church
J.B. Steele House, 303 South First Street
Juhre Building (1894)
Golden Rule Building (circa 1894)
Lane Hotel
Love's Sanitarium
Mutual Aid Union Building
Palace of the Ozarks
Rogers City Hall
Rogers City Jail
Rogers Milling Company
Rogers Opera House
Rogers Post Office
Rogers Wholesale Grocery Company
The Key Wing
The Stroud Building (1899)
The Victory Theater
James and Sally McDaniel Home

The Stroud Home
The Tribble House
The Rocky Branch School

206th C.A. A.A
Home Demonstration Club
Rogers First Elks Lodge
Rogers Garden Club
Women's Study Club/Mas Luz Club
Benton County Possum Hunters
Rogers High School Football Team 1921
Rogers High School Marching Band 1942
936th Field Artillery Battalion in the Korean War
1960's Rogers High School Spirit
Arkansas State Guard in WWII


Apple Blossom Festivals
Benton County Fair
Bolin Murder Inquest 
Ozark Golden Jubilee
Rogers Centennial Posse
Rogers Diamond Jubilee (1956)
Santa's Rocket Sleigh
The Arrival of Santa Claus (1945)
The Brightwater Train Wreck (1907)
The Great Car Skate on Lake Atalanta (1940)
Thanksgiving (1904)
The Last Reunion of Pea Ridge Veterans


Chemical Engine
Christmas Memories
Frisco Railroad
Mining in Northwest Arkansas
Natural Resources
Rogers' Congregational Church
Rogers Fire Department
Rogers Police Cars
St. Mary's Hospital
Tobacco and Benton County
Still Busting near Bentonville
John Boat
Tall Tree Tales

Civil Defense in the 1960's
Early Cars
Rogers Yuletide
Brick Streets
Rural Road Work



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