C. E. Thompson General Store and House

The C. E. Thompson General Store and House is located in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Serving as both a store and home into the mid-twentieth century and later renovated to be used as a restaurant, the structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 4, 2001.

Located at the intersection of State Highways 8 and 26, the building was constructed in 1936 by the Thompson family. The Craftsman-style building was designed to serve as both a home and a store. The house sits on a continuous brick foundation but was constructed on brick piers. Covered in weatherboard, the building is topped with a composition shingled roof. Most of the windows are double hung three over one. The house faces northeast and is fronted by a wraparound front porch. The porch is framed by two brick-and-wood pillars. Exposed rafter tails, a common Craftsman detail, are included on both the front and rear of the building. The northwest side of the building includes a small porch and two sets of three-over-three windows. The rear of the building includes three sets of three windows and one set of double-hung windows. A portico is in the center and framed by two brick-and-wood columns. The southeast side of the house includes an interior red brick chimney and a total of five windows and two gables.

In addition to the combination house/store, six other buildings located nearby contribute to the historic nature of the property. These include a garage behind the home with exposed rafter tails and a well house on a brick foundation to the southwest of the home. A combination washhouse/smoker, almost identical to the well house, is on the property, as well as a combination shop/warehouse. The final two structures are a shed and a two-seat privy. Each of these structures date to about the same time as the home.

When constructed, the business was located at the western edge of the Arkadelphia city limits. The Thompson family lived in the back of the building, while the front served as the store. Serving a rural part of the county, the business was successful due to the location at the intersection of two state highways. The store sold a number of staple foodstuffs and necessities, as well as gasoline and related automotive items. A set of gravity-fed pumps was installed near the front of the store in 1936. These original pumps were replaced in the 1940s, and a number of different brands of gasoline were sold at the store over the years. The Thompson family also operated a sawmill located across Highway 8 from the building. The construction of Interstate 30 and the growth of Arkadelphia to the west brought more businesses to the area. The sale of gasoline was discontinued in the 1980s due to new environmental regulations, and the store closed a short time later.  

The building underwent extensive renovations and began serving as a restaurant under the continued ownership of the Thompson family.

For additional information:
“C. E. Thompson General Store and Residence.” National Register for Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/CL0941.nr.pdf (accessed April 25, 2018).

David Sesser
Henderson State University

Last Updated: 04/25/2018