Monte Ne was a planned community and resort built in 1901 by William H. Harvey, a prominent politician known for his support of the silver standard. The 320-acre resort near Rogers, Arkansas eventually included three hotels, a bank, a golf course, an enclosed swimming pool, a five-mile connecting railroad, and the two tallest log buildings in the world. It was a popular destination from the 1900s to the early 1920s and was the site of Harvey's nomination to the Liberty Party's 1932 presidential ticket.
The death of one son in 1903 and the departure of another in 1908 led to serious setbacks in 1910 and he struggled to maintain the resort. After ten years of struggling and decreasing interest in Monte Ne, Harvey began to believe the fall of civilization was near. He announced plans to erect a large pyramid that would preserve a message for future generations. The pyramid was never completed due to lack of funds.
Sisters Iris and Helen Armstrong later founded the amphitheater and renamed it Camp Joyzelle. The camp was a popular summer destination for girls. By 1927, much of the resort was foreclosed and the buildings were used for the Ozark Industrial College and School of Theology until its closing in 1932.
The last of the land and water rights were sold in 1948, years after Harvey's death in 1936. Harvey was buried in a concrete vault in Monte Ne.
Beaver Dam was built in 1964 and most of the resort was enveloped by Beaver Lake. Today, Monte Ne is home to ruins, a church, a restaurant and a lakeside launch.
Graffiti, some quite vulgar, now covers the interior and exterior walls of one building, named Oklahoma Row. Other remains include a fire place from Missouri Row (the second tallest building) and parts of an amphitheater which are only visible when lake levels are low.
Photos and Essay by Jesse Camacho
Published in The New Territory Magazine, Issue 05