Marcella Downing Dugger of Pocahontas was raised in the Lost Cane Community. She is the daughter of the late Harve and Virgie Downing, early settlers of Lost Cane. They came to the area in the 1930s and like many other residents of the area they were sharecroppers.
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
She came with copies of a book she recently compiled of her childhood memories of family, friends, school, and growing up in Lost Cane. Her granddaughter, Charity Lane, helped her with the design and publication.
"It is a book about my early memories growing up in Lost Cane," Dugger said. "I did it for my family, but it has a lot of other names mentioned, a picture of the old Lost Cane School, class pictures and ball team pictures from Lost Cane. I didn't make it for a profit but I thought some people might like one. Many of us share the same memories."
She got a great response from her book at the reunion.
Dugger said she left Lost Cane at the age of 17 when she married Tommy Dugger. Mr. Dugger was a native of the Etowah community near Manila. They returned to Arkansas in 1972 and settled in Pocahontas. Mr. Dugger died in September of 1990. Mrs. Dugger still resides in Pocahontas where she works in the healthcare profession.
Mrs. Dugger has always been a family person and the book of memories is her way of passing down family history for generations to come.
Her daughter, Sheila McCall, has long been into research and genealogy. She, along with her sisters, Pam Sorg and Karen Carr, encouraged their mother throughout the project.
"We couldn't wait to get our hands on it," McCall said. "It is a treasure for the generations who come after us."
Her daughter Sheila lives in Jonesboro; Pamela lives in Pocahontas; and Karen lives in Olive Branch, Miss.
Dugger expressed her gratitude for the annual reunion held in Manila each year.
"Everyone at Lost Cane was your neighbor and they all believed in helping each other when a need arose," she said.
She has fond memories of the school and shares a lot of them in her book.
She remembers her classmates, neighbors, and much of the history young people read about today. She remembers the classroom at Lost Cane she was in when she got the word President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died in office.
Her book of childhood memories is filled with her growing up years at Lost Cane and how life was in rural Arkansas.