Markham Hill Moment of History                                                       2020-03-02

Evangeline Pratt Waterman Archer
Covering 1947–1954 - Part 2 of 2

The following are excerpts from various articles in the Northwest Arkansas Times from 1947 through 1954 concerning Evangeline Archer's Greece experience. Plus, some of her Fayetteville Garden Club work.

Jan 8, 1951

Mrs. Markham Shows Color Films of Greece.

Mrs. Joy Pratt Markham entertained at her home with two teas last week, on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The guests were entertained with the showing of color films of Greece, sent to Mrs. Markham by her sister, Mrs. Laird Archer. Mr. and Mrs. Archer reside in Ekali, Greece. The pictures were made, for the most part, in or near Athens but also covered travels of the Archers through southern and northern Greece. There were also some scenes of Mt. Pendell which rises behind the Archer home.
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Laird Archer chatting with King and Queen of Greece

Aug 30, 1952

Laird Archers Back from Greece, Will Make Their Home in the Ozarks; Balkan Nation Finds Inflation Hard to Combat.

Mr. and Mrs. Laird Archer and Mrs. Archer’s son, Julian, have returned to Fayetteville from Greece, where Mr. Archer organized the first UNRRA mission to Greece and served in the U.S. Office of Relief and Reconstruction for the Balkans. He has spent 30 years in Europe where he has been foreign director of the Near East Foundation.

Mrs. Archer is the former Evangeline Pratt Waterman of Fayetteville and has been teaching musical appreciation in the community high school in Athens.

Mr. Archer will remain a consultant with the Near East Foundation the remainder of this year and will travel back and forth to New York and Washington. However, the family plans to make Fayetteville their home, and Mr. Archer, the author of “Balkan Journal, An Unofficial Observer in Greece”, plans to write another book, and to spend much of his time fishing, riding and wood sawing.

Mr. Archer has been decorated by three countries: by Greece as Commander of the Order of the Phoenix and with the Order of the Redeemer; by Tzarist Russia with the Medal of the Red Cross; and by pre-Communist Albania as Commander of the Order of Skenderbeg.

He and Mrs. Archer, before leaving Athens in June, were honored at receptions, dinners, and received many scrolls and medals. The American community in Athens presented them with a going-away present of a silver plate and a check for a radio-phonograph for Mrs. Archer.

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Laird Archer, Julian, Evangeline Archer on ship to Greece, 1947

Nov 18, 1952

Mrs. Archer Speaks at Club Meeting.

The Fayetteville Garden Club, which met Wednesday at the home of Mrs. William Baerg, Park Avenue, heard a talk on “Flowers of Greece,” given by Mrs. Laird Archer.

She began her talk by describing the architecture of the homes, which includes a walled enclosure for each house. Within the enclosure is the garden, which is also used as the living and dining area, the climate being mild it is the custom of the people to eat outdoors. Each home has an abundance of flowers, mostly calendulas, geraniums, pansies, asters, lilacs and poppies. Calla lilies “grow like weeds,” Mrs. Archer stated, and the streets and roads are bordered by oleanders.

She pointed out that the Greek people are especially careful of their trees. Trees are not removed for the sake of progress but are left standing with streets built around them.

Following the talk, the club voted to collect material for clothing and for dressing dolls, in place of having its Christmas gift exchange. The material, including ornaments used in making doll clothing, will be given to Mrs. Archer and will be sent to the women of Greece.

May 9, 1953

Z.T.A. Alumnae Meets with Mrs. Markham.

Fayetteville alumnae of Zeta Tau Alpha met with Mrs. Joy Pratt Markham Tuesday afternoon. After the business meeting, Mrs. Laird Archer gave a talk on “Housekeeping in Greece,” telling of her experiences while residing in that country.

Aug 13, 1953

Dolls from Greece Displayed At Tea By Mrs. Archer.

The Fayetteville Garden Club held its August meeting yesterday afternoon at Sassafras Hill, home of Mrs. Laird Archer. Tea was served in the dining room to 21 members and three guests, after which there was a short business meeting held on the lawn. A round-table discussion of garden problems of the current season followed. Mrs. Archer, who has spent the past several years in Greece, then showed character dolls made by women of Greece and sold by them to tourists as a means of livelihood. The costumes of the dolls, elaborate and true to Greek tradition, were of interest to the club members as they have been sending boxes of finery to the Greek women for several years to be used for the doll costumes.

Nov 4, 1953

Julian Archer, Sophomore – Pictured in Geographic.

In the November issue of the National Geographic magazine, on page 701, is a picture of a group of Greek children. Among them is Julian Archer, a sophomore at FHS. Maynard Williams, a friend of Julian’s who asked him to be in the picture, wrote the story on life in Crete which accompanied the picture.

Julian lived in Greece five years while his father, Laird Archer, served as Foreign director of the Near East Foundation.

In discussing the difference in our schools and those he attended in Greece, Julian said that algebra, geometry, and other advanced subjects were taught in the sixth and seventh grades.

Swimming and fishing in the Mediterranean and long bicycle rides were nothing unusual to Julian. The main sport he and the Greek children enjoyed was soccer.

Dec 11, 1953

Mrs. Burleson Entertains Garden Club.

The Fayetteville Garden Club met Wednesday afternoon for its annual Christmas Meeting and program. The meeting was held in the home of Mrs. D. J. Burleson, 726 Highland Avenue.

Mrs. Laird Archer presented the program, which consisted of a talk on “Christmas Customs in Greece.” The talk was followed by colored slides showing many Greek churches and other examples of early Byzantine architecture.

Oct 19, 1954

Mrs. Archer Speaker at Luncheon-Meeting.

Mrs. Laird Archer was guest speaker for a luncheon-meeting held yesterday for Circle two of the First Baptist Church at the home of Mrs. C. H. Williams. She talked on activities of various women in Greece.