Formosa: Small town plans big

(c) 2000, by Lula Holeman, arearep@artelco.com,  Formosa, Arkansas

The little community of Formosa has a big goal;  A new community center building!

Formosa, which is located on Highway 9, about seven miles south of Choctaw, was once a thriving community.  Although never incorporated as a town, in the early years of the 20th century, Formosa had a school, post office, drugstore and several other businesses, along with a sizable population.  But, as with so many such communities, things happened and people moved away, businesses closed and the school consolidated. 

All that is left of the original community is some fond memories and one building, half of which belongs to the newly formed Formosa Community Organization and is used as a community center.

The memories of those few citizens, who either stayed through the hard times, or returned “home” to retire, are the spark that is lighting a desire to restore the camaraderie of neighbors who have lost touch in today’s fast pace, and draw the new-comers (like myself) into the fold.  In other words, they want to restore this local population to a “neighborhood.”  A noble challenge, but doable.

One organization which has stood the test of time is the  Formosa EH Club (in the past known as the Home Demonstration Club).  Some time back, the EH Club, and the Community of Formosa acquired half of the aforementioned mentioned structure.  They also received a grant to improve the building, which became the Formosa Community Center, and is still in use as such.

The building , half of which houses the Formosa Community Center, and half of which stands unused at this time, holds some fond memories for those who live here in the early days of prosperity.  But, neither sentiment nor historical value can deem it acceptable as a public building.  Along with many internal problems, the building is not handicap accessible and parking space is inadequate and dangerous.

Early this year, the EH Club, which has been the backbone of the community throughout the difficult times, along with the almost defunct community organization known as the RCI, got together and decided to take action.  Announcements went into the local paper and everyone in the area was called and encouraged to attend a reorganization meeting.  As a result of these efforts, at a meeting held in February the group was renamed Formosa Community Organization, officers were elected and the goal to build a new community center was stated.  Tentative plans for the building were drawn, a committed was formed to search for property, and future fund-raisers were discussed.

At this writing, no suitable property has been located, but an offer for the purchase of the old community center has been accepted, and the sale is in the final stages.  Also, the organization has been apprised of the availability of a potential grant which could be used to finance the building.  The application for the grant is in the hands of a member,  however, fund-raisers are still on the agenda.  The next on will be a pie and ice-cream social in July.

Other that raising funds for the building, the greatest obstacle to completing the plans is the location of a suitable piece of property.  The desired property should be no less than one acre, located in the vicinity of Formosa and have good accessibility to water, sewer and electricity.  Anyone having such property to sell or donate to the organization should call 745-8526 or 754-6933.

At this time, there are no membership requirements.  If you attend, you are a member.  The meetings are held on the third Monday of the month, at 7 PM, in the Formosa Community Center on Highway 9.  Everyone in the area is urged to attend, and all visitors from other areas are welcome.  Next meeting will be June 19, and the pie and ice-cream social will be July 17.

Y'all come, we’ll treat you right!

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