Overcoming Obstacles at Rush

Rush was a zinc mining town in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was here along the banks of the Buffalo River that prospectors found large deposits of zinc ore. Mining companies set up mines, processing plants, and small communities in these hills. Thousands of miners moved to Rush during World War I. Zinc was crucial to the war effort because it is used to make brass, which is needed for ammunition.

One of the biggest obstacles the mining companies faced was getting the zinc ore out of Rush so that it could be taken to a processing plant. Unfortunately, the Buffalo River was not deep enough to float ore boats and there were not any railroads close to Rush. The only option for hauling zinc out of Rush was by horse and mule teams on the rough dirt roads. These rugged roads led to Summit, the closest railroad access, or to Old Buffalo City where the ore could be loaded onto a barge and floated to Batesville on the White River.

Help Miners Find Their Routes Activity

Help the miners get the zinc out of Rush by drawing the possible road routes from Rush to other transportation hubs. Print this page to complete the map activity below.
  1. At Rush zinc was loaded onto the wagon and the horses hauled it ________ miles ________ (direction) to Old Buffalo City on the White River. The zinc was then loaded onto a barge and floated to Batesville where it was loaded onto a railcar.
  2. The zinc was loaded onto the wagon and horses hauled it ________ miles ________ (direction) to the railroad in Summit.
Historic Map of Rush, Arkansas
A map of the zinc mining community of Rush, Arkansas in the early 1900s.

Last updated: April 16, 2020

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