Harvey's Grocery and Texaco Station
Harvey’s Grocery and Texaco Station is a historic business building located about three miles west of the Camden (Ouachita County) city limits. It was constructed in 1948 to replace an earlier building. The combined grocery store and gas station was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 25, 2001.
Henry Harvey moved to a plot of land located on Arkansas Highway 24 in December 1941 after selling a farm in nearby Chidester (Ouachita County). The community around the Harvey home became known as Harveyville. Harvey constructed a log cabin that was approximately twenty by thirty feet to house his combined grocery store and gas station. The business soon outgrew the small structure, and a larger building was constructed to the west.
Facing the highway located to the north, the building is a single-story structure set on a continuous concrete foundation. The exterior of the building is formed from rock-faced concrete blocks and topped with an asphalt shingle roof with a front gable. The gable is covered in weatherboard and includes a louvered vent. A shed roof porch stretches across the front of the building and is covered with asphalt shingles. Four concrete block columns support the porch roof. A rusted sign is located on top of the porch, giving the name of the store as Harvey’s Grocery between two advertisements for Coca-Cola. Access to the building is gained through an aluminum door with a window. Two large single-pane windows with metal bars are located on either side of the door, which is not centered but located slightly on the west side of the building. Wooden benches are located under the porch. An unused door is located on the northeast side of the front of the building, behind a bench.
The east and west exterior walls are almost identical. Four small four-light windows are present on each side, with one removed on the east for an air conditioner, and a door is present on the east wall. The rear of the building includes an off-center door and a small addition that contains a bathroom. The rear gable also contains a louvered vent and is covered in weatherboard.
The interior of the building is little changed from the original construction. With a poured concrete floor and built-in cabinets and shelves spread around the building, it looks much as it did when it was used as a store. A kitchen area is located at the rear of the store.
The store was operated by various members of the Harvey family for decades. The establishment also sold Texaco gasoline until 1979. That year, the gas tanks were removed, and the store continued to sell essentials to the local community, as well as barbeque. A gathering place for many locals, the store became an important stop for many aspiring politicians. A sign located to the east of the building says “Harvey’s Grocery: Politics Spoken Here.”
When added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, it was operating as a store and barbeque restaurant. Since that time, it has been owned by several individuals and corporations. By 2019, the business was not in operation, with the property owned by Harvey’s BBQ and Steak, LLC.
For additional information:
“Harvey’s Grocery.” Ouachita County Historical Quarterly 24 (Winter 1992): 16–19.
“Harvey’s Grocery and Texaco Station.” National Register of Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/OU0153.nr.pdf (accessed June 8, 2020).
Wallingsford, Hugh. “Little Harvey’s Grocery.” Ouachita County Historical Quarterly 37 (Winter 2005): 17.
Henderson State University
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