Madman in the hills - Monte Ne: Atlantis of the Ozarks
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The abandoned million-dollar resort known as Monte Ne was the dream of former Liberty Party presidential candidate William Hope "Coin" Harvey. In 1901, the eccentric Harvey purchased 320 acres near Rogers, Arkansas to become a health resort, political headquarters, and place for civilization to arise after the apocalypse (which Harvey believed was imminent). The resort had two massive hotels, an enclosed plunge bath, a golf course, and gondolas to ferry visitors across the lagoon. In later years, Harvey even added a Roman amphitheater, which is now submerged under Beaver Lake.
Monte Ne is an area in the Ozark hills of the White River valley east of Rogers on the edge of Beaver Lake in the U.S. State of Arkansas. From 1901 until the mid-1930s the area was a health resort and ambitious planned community. It was owned and operated by William Hope Harvey, a financial theorist and one time U.S. Presidential nominee. Two of its hotels, "Missouri Row" and "Oklahoma Row", were the largest log buildings in the world. Oklahoma Row's "tower section" is one of the earliest examples of a multi-story cement structure. The tower is the only structure of Monte Ne still standing. Monte Ne introduced the first indoor swimming pool in Arkansas, and was also the site of the only presidential convention ever held in Arkansas.
The remainder of the resort and town was almost completely submerged after Beaver Lake was created in 1964. All that remains today are foundations and one severely vandalized structure. The area on the edge of Beaver Lake that is still referred to as Monte Ne, is owned and managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and serves mainly as a boat ramp.
Harvey needed a way to get people to Monte Ne. In 1900, there were few adequate roads and automobiles were not yet practical. The natural solution seemed to be to build a railroad from Lowell, Arkansas to Monte Ne. The Arkansas Railroad Commission granted a charter on April 26, 1902, and the Monte Ne Railway Company was incorporated in May 1902, with a capital stock of $250,000.
Harvey did some deep research into the history of the Ozark Mountains. He claimed that they were some of the oldest mountains in the world and definitely the oldest in the United States. They had been untouched by volcanoes and earthquakes. He believed that the mountains around Monte Ne would eventually crumble and fill the valley with silt and sediment. Figuring that the mountains were approximately 240 ft (73 m) high, Harvey planned to construct a massive concrete obelisk and its capstone would remain above the debris. Archaeologist in the distant future would be able to dig down and find the monument He called the project "The Pyramid" and dedicated the rest of his life to its construction.
Harvey's books, explaining 20th century civilization, as well as a world globe, a bible, encyclopedias, and newspapers, were to be placed inside two vaults and hermetically sealed in glass. Harvey also wanted to place in this large room: "numerous small items now used in domestic and industrial life, from the size of a needle and safety pin up to a Victrola."
Unlike other Monte Ne building projects designed by architect A. O. Clark, the amphitheater apparently had no architectural input and was not built according to blueprints or a single design. Those who worked with Harvey noted that he seemed to just "work it out in his mind from day to day."
Following the Egyptian mania that gripped the country after the discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922, Harvey's Pyramid project sparked a lot of interest and was widely reported throughout the US. Tens of thousands of people came to Monte Ne during the 1920s to see its progress. Harvey continued to raise funds from events held at the amphitheater, such as conventions.
The estimated cost of the Pyramid itself was $75,000, but Harvey exhausted his funds on construction of the amphitheater. The stock market crash of 1929 ended all construction. In a last ditch effort to save the project, Harvey sent letters to wealthy men asking for funds to complete the project. In his letters he explained that civilization was dying and that only rich men, like the intended readers, could save it, if they could send money for his pyramid.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7_ENAAAAIBAJ&sjid=N3YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=144,4764000&dq=monte-ne+submerged St. Petersburg Times - Jan 27, 1957
SOME OF COIN HARVEY'S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL IDEAS
First, money is sacred and usury is the tool of Satan. I'm not exaggerating his feelings on that. He uses those terms. All the world's ills are caused by usury in its strict sense. Money is sacred because it's the most direct representation of a man's labor. Usury is bad because it drains money, interest, from people who work and gives it to bankers who sit on their butts and create nothing but paperwork. Debt is bad because it puts a freeloading middleman, the banker, in between a man's labor and his property.
Included in Harvey's pantheon of economic sin are insurance, currency speculation, Social Security, labor unions and arbitrage. In fact, what eventually became the foundation of American culture in the 20th century is but a complex house of cards ready to be flicked apart by the big (English) money lenders wenever it suits their fancy to do so. He thought that sooner or later they would do so, and that's how he decided to preserve the collected wisdom of his age in a 130-foot-tall pyramid in the Ozarks. More about that later.
The institution that he sees as the greatest threat to our civilization is the Federal Reserve Banking system. The Bank hoards money, gold, in its vaults and issues loans as credit against a tiny fraction of the actual money it has on hand. So people who borrow money aren't actually borrowing money. They're borrowing debt issued by the bank, and they are paying interest on it with their labor.
He died with a balance of $138, debt of $3000 and no will. The courts decided that the property that was still deeded to the Pyramid foundation belonged to his widow, May, who sold it before moving to Springfield, Missouri never to return. She died in 1948.