AR-39 Fall at White River National Wildlife Refuge
The area which is now White River National Wildlife Refuge has a long and colorful history. Hernando DeSoto landed near what is today St. Charles. At that time it was an Indian village and later became a trading post as goods moved up and down the White River to the Mississippi River. Not until the late 1800s and early 1900s did the population grow and settlers began to live along and on the river. Timber harvest, commercial hunting, fishing, trapping, and digging freshwater mussels for their shells were the primary means to make a living, resulting in significant reductions in native wildlife and their habitats. People working and living along this portion of the White River continued in this manner until the refuge was established.