The Toad Suck name has a long and honorable (?) history. Back in 1823 an Arkansas River crossing was established about five miles west of Conway, Ark. As a part of a postal route to Hot Springs, Ark. Sometime between 1830 and 1850, a tavern was built on the west side of the river to accommodate the rough-and-tumble clientele of the largely unsettled Arkansas territory. Needless to say, patrons of the tavern were a hard-drinking lot. In fact, heavy drinking there caused a traveler to remark, “those fellows suck at bottle till they swell up like toads!” Thus, the name Toad Suck evolved.
Over the years many famous people have passed the old ferry crossing, including Sam Houston, Washington Irving, Zachary Taylor, Bernard de la Harpe and Jeff Davis.
Today Toad Suck Ferry Park is a Corps of Engineers Park located on Highway 60 at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River. It has drinking water, toilets, boat launching ramps, tents and trailer spaces, charcoal grills and picnic tables for the convenience of all.
Every spring Faulkner County celebrates an enormous arts and crafts festival called “Toad Suck Daze.” A “Toad Council” of local citizens manages the arts and civic clubs events, along with inane contests such as cow chip throwing and live toad races. Yes, there is a “Toad Master” and a “Toadly Awesome Toad Suck Drum and Kazoo Corp” too.
Also, there is a famous area at the main intersection in downtown Conway known as “Toad Suck Square.” The Toad Suck tradition lives on!
Follow these links to learn more about Toad Suck: