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The Arkansas News

1992 Spring
Arkansas at Play

« Back to 1992 Spring Issue Articles

“Coin” Harvey Created Resort in the Ozarks

MONTE NE - Businessman and former presidential candidate William Hope "Coin" Harvey, died today, February 11, 1936, at his home in Monte Ne.

Harvey was born in 1851 in Buffalo, West Virginia. A fast learner, he became a schoolteacher by age 16 and a lawyer by age 21. Harvey eventually moved west, opening a silver mine in Colorado in the 1880s. In 1894, Harvey wrote a book, Coin's Financial School, which sold two million copies and gave Harvey his nickname. It. contained his ideas for solving the nation's financial problems.

In 1901, Harvey bought 320 acres in a spring-fed valley near Rogers and developed the idea of a secluded resort where visitors could "get away from it all." Harvey named his town "Monte Ne," meaning "Mountain Water," and laid out a plan of streets, buildings, and parks. He dammed up some of the 11 springs in the area to create small lakes and lagoons. Knowing that visitors would come only if he provided a way for them to get there, Harvey built a railroad to Monte Ne.

Thousands of travelers soon made their way to Monte Ne. They were greeted at the depot by Venetian gondolas waiting to transport them along the lagoons to their hotels. Visitors stayed in two spectacular log hotels known as Oklahoma Row and Missouri Row. Each building was 300 feet long and had a fireplace in every room. Harvey provided a dance pavilion, an indoor swimming pool, and even a golf course for his guests' entertainment.

By the time the United States entered World War I in 1917, Monte Ne's popularity had declined greatly and once again Harvey became disillusioned. He believed that civilization would soon disappear.

Harvey decided to build a pyramid where he could store items from the present for future generations. Harvey only got as far as building an amphitheatre for the base of the pyramid before he ran out of money.

Among the items Harvey intended to place in his time capsule was an automobile. As early as 1913, Harvey realized the car was changing the way America traveled. It was in that year that he established the Ozark Trails Association to promote good roads, highway markers, and maps. Coin Harvey said he formed the OTA because "all roads lead to Monte Ne."

Harvey's last great adventure came in 1932 when he ran as the presidential candidate for the Liberty Party. Though he promised to bring "prosperity in 90 days," the 82-year-ld Harvey received only 53,000 votes, losing in a landslide to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

With his passing, Harvey leaves behind a legacy of many dreams.

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