Eureka Springs, AR | home
Dan Ellis arrived in Eureka Springs on Nov 8, 2005
Dan Ellis - Community Historicizer
Lauder of Local Legacies
Dan Ellis's presentation of historic facts is unique in format. Historic data is arranged in chronological categories with themes that are complete including photographs, maps, and interviews. A reader can pick up one of his books and start reading from any page because each segment is a different story. He says that he derived this format from when he was a history teacher and taught his students to learn that each episode in life is a separate unfolding.
In 1990, Ellis established permanent residence at his weekend Pass Christian home. Having a background of writing with New Orleans papers, his interest in journalism lead to producing vignette columns in local newspapers and magazines. Upon writing his first histories, he realized the significant extent of previously published misinformation. This resulted in his seeking primary source data from archival records in Mobile, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; New Orleans, Louisiana, and from local courthouses, churches, and cemeteries.
Ellis's books are filled with treasured photographs and maps; added to, as he takes special effort to seek out individuals, whether obscure or prominent, who add a touch of personal experience by revealing anecdotal interviews.
Not being able to find a publisher, Ellis was determined to get his history books to the general public, so he learned to be a self-publisher — personally distributing his history books through bookstores and gift shops.
Ellis looks forward to writing other histories of towns and cities that do not have updated history books.
As a Journalist, he has written columns in such periodicals as Citibusiness News in New Orleans; Coast Business, Gulf Coast Good News, and the Progress, as well as articles for the monthly "Senior Scene," the "Gulf Coast Magnolia Quarterly," and "Inside-Northside" magazine.
He has been Editor of several newsletters such as the Mississippi AARP Quarterly, the Pass Christian Tricentennial, the Pass Christian Lighthouse Society, and the Timber Ridge Reporter, and promoter of "Pass in Revue," published by the Pass Christian Chamber of Commerce .
In addition, Ellis has self-published a number of topical heritage booklets.
Ellis is past president of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and was awarded Best History Author of the Gulf Coast. His books sell for $20, or less, and are computerized in order to enable easy updating and error corrections when found. He calls himself a Historiographer and Scrutinier, which simply translates to a "writer of history with authenticity."
Dan Ellis may be contacted at 423 W. Van Buren Ave., Eureka Springs, AR, 72632,
Cell Phone •228-342-3671 •Dan@Ureeka.Org • Ask@DanEllis.Net
A couple of hundred self-designed web sites can be found through his domain sites at
Dan was cited with Royal Citizenship on January 12, 2006, by a Eurekan Welcoming Committee of one.
After traveling from Mississippi to Alabama, to Florida, and then Arkansas, he felt deeply honored in receipt of the object at right.
Thanks to the Judge, an understanding kindness was rendered.
To view his travails and travels until reaching the Ozarks, Continue reading.
I evacuated my home in Pass Christian the day before Katrina, leaving one car behind only to lose my second car in the flood waters to where I had taken sanctuary some 15 miles off the Gulf coastliine at a friend's vacated home. I had taken my computer to occupy my time, but the electricity went off at 8:30 p.m. while I awaited the storm.
The next morning, Katrina’s eye-wall hit the community of Diamondhead. The first water came into the house soon after parts of the roof flew by the front window. Ten minutes later, more roofing boards flew past the back yard. Moments later, the sheet-rock ceilings began to cave in from the weight of the rain water.
When the heavy winds dyed down, more water started seeping below the doorways as I applied towels. Then came the Flood. Rising quickly to about three-feet, all the furniture was floating with the rising waters.
Fearing increased water levels, I scooted up to the attic and made a perch for the next several hours. While sticking my head out from the roof rafters to view the storm remains, I heard a voice calling out. Below was a woman who had swam to higher ground. She came in and joined me in the attic until the water began to recede.
The community of Diamondhead, MS. is mostly high ground with some valley areas that became flooded by the rising tidal surge effect upon the bordering Jourdan River. My car was flooded, which resulted in my remaining there for three days until I could hitch a ride to Alabama. However, before leaving, I managed a trip to Pass Christian with some SeaBees, only to find the place flattened and no hope of gaining entrance to the area where my home was located.
In Gulf Shores, Alabama, I purchased a car and decided to seek out a hotel in Pensacola, Florida where my brother was staying.
Through the years, Pensacola has grown up, but not to my liking. “No Smoking” everywhere and even many of the saloons didn’t allow smoking nor did they even sell hard liquor in nearby spots. So I remained hotel bound. Although I am a non-smoker now, I still like to associate with the spirit of those who do smoke -- that have not shed their demeanor for fun and revelry.
After making weekly trips to Pass Christian for 11 consecutive weeks, I realized that condition changes were going to continue inexorably slow. I was taking photographs that had little change from one week to the next.
Following the first effects of Katrina, my anchor had become my computer — but slowly, my computer became my master. Since I had produced several community newsletters and numerous informational web sites, it was natural that I responded quickly to create a much needed Katrina web site for the benefit of family, friends, neighbors and eventually to international information seekers.
The rush of queries and seekers of information to the Katrina Web Site began to slow down, even though there were continued streams of people from all over the world, representing more than a hundred countries downloading Pass Christian photos and information at a healthy pace. The site was beneficial for everyone to get to know the Pass, but the purpose of the site was primarily to serve Evacuees. Survivors who remained in the Pass had no electricity or telephones even if they were able to save a computer among their many losses.
My last trip to the Pass was Monday, November 7th when I had packed up all my plastic bags and my computer and my boots — loaded them into my car and told Pensacola goodbye. I stopped off at the Pass hoping to have my Insurance Pay off checks in my Post Box. Nada, nuttin, Ninc.
One of the numerous evacuees who remained in communication was Al Hooks. His Beach House was wiped clean off the map leaving only Italian tiles as a marker for his foundation slab. Al had become one of the Katrina Slabbers who decided not to return to the Pass and had escaped to Arkansas with his dawgs and his folks.
Al had been bragging about his new abode as a Bohemian village in the Ozarks. So, I decided to take a two-week break and vacation in the mountains while waiting for my Insurance checks, and waiting for my house and debris to be bulldozed, and waiting for my sewerage, water, and electricity to be hooked up — and waiting for my long-promised trailer to be delivered. I packed all my belongings into some 20 plastic bags and took the trip northward.
Lo and Behold, I was having a wonderful time in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and after just a week, I decided, “Here I am — Here I stay!” I had taken up quarters in Room 254 of the Inn of the Ozarks, received a membership card from Myrtie Mae, became acquainted with many of the same folks that had welcomed Al Hooks to the town, and developed the Freakin’ Eurekan Fever.
I’m sure that everyone conjures their own image of the town. Mine is that it so greatly reminds me of my youthful years of the French Quarters of New Orleans. The narrow streets lined by two and three-storied buildings with overhanging galleries garnished by ornamental iron balconies, the blending of colors, the odors, the retail outlets, boarding houses, restaurants, saloons, and gala lighting — but most of all, a blending of happy people seeking their nirvana for a sumptuous joie de vivre.
And now I’ve joined the fold by planting my roots (and Grass) at my Hide-Away on W. Van Buren.