You’ll see the word Ouachita all over this region of Arkansas: It’s the French spelling of a Native American word that loosely means “good hunting and good waters”. (Wash-It-Taw – and it’s still famous for both.) French names and spellings are common around here, and of course the word Arkansas itself is a French-corruption of a Native American word. On top of that, us hillbillies often mispronounce the French names and wind up with completely new ones – but I guess a few times we decided to just “spell it in English the way you say it in French”, so you’ll find a few “Washita” and sometimes “Washitaw” names if you’ve got a good map and a good eye.
This old storefront is about the only thing in one of them… “Washita” was apparently a small community on the Ouachita River in the days before Lake Ouachita was made, and if you drive past the junction of Hwy 88 and Hwy 27, you can say you’ve been through it.