Mount Sequoyah Cottages
Located in Fayetteville (Washington County), the Mount Sequoyah Cottages are two wood-frame cottages constructed in the early 1940s, according to property tax records. Located next to one another on Mount Sequoyah at 808 and 810 East Skyline Drive, the cottages were added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 16, 2012.
The land on which the cottages stand was donated to the Western Methodist Assembly by the city of Fayetteville in 1922. The Methodists wished to create a retreat for members located in the south-central United States, as the nearest existing facility was in North Carolina. The land, accompanied by a $35,000 donation from the city, allowed the Methodists to create a retreat atop the mountain. Before the donation of the land, the area was known as East Mountain, but the assembly held a contest to select a new name, settling on Mount Sequoyah. Elizabeth Harwood Miller selected the name in reference to Sequoyah’s role in leading Eastern Cherokee to the Indian Territory and because of her belief that it was possible that he camped in the area. The name of the facility remained Western Methodist Assembly. Construction on the retreat began almost immediately, and it opened in the summer of 1923, with the numerous buildings already constructed including two dormitories, a chapel, a cafeteria, and twenty-two cottages.
Funding for the facility remained scarce in the early years of operation. In an effort to raise funds for the construction of buildings on the site, lots for cottages were sold to potential vacationers who wished to be near the assembly. By August 1923, cottages had been constructed by parcel owners from locations including Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and San Antonio, Texas. The Reverend Sam Yancey, the director of the assembly, purchased ninety-three lots in 1936 and resold them as a way to encourage Methodists to construct cottages on the mountain. The Reverend E. J. Reaves and his wife, Florence Reaves, purchased the lots at 808 and 810 East Skyline Drive on July 12, 1940, for one dollar each. They constructed the cottages, with one for personal use and the second as a rental property.
Both cottages face west and are located on the eastern edge of Mount Sequoyah. The cottage located at 810 East Skyline Drive is a frame building with fieldstone and vinyl siding on the exterior. The front of the home includes a continuous foundation, while the rear includes piers and concrete pilings. The house is topped with a side gable roof covered in red shingles. A door covered by a gable stoop is located on the south side of the front of the home, and a large fieldstone covered exterior chimney is located near the north side. Double-hung windows are located on each side of the chimney.
The rear of the home is two stories, as it is constructed on the edge of the mountain. The lower level is topped with a deck. The upper level includes a set of French doors. The deck extends to the south side of the home.
The second home, 808 East Skyline Drive, is also covered in fieldstone, and the front appears much the same as the first house. The exterior also includes weatherboard. The front of the home mirrors its neighbor with a similarly located chimney, door, and windows. The house is topped with a composition shingle roof and rests on a continuous stone foundation. It is also two stories, with a partial basement and a deck.
Both of the homes remained in private ownership in 2020. The Mount Sequoyah Retreat and Conference Center, while no longer part of the Methodist Church, operates nearby.
For additional information:
“Mount Sequoyah Cottages.” 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/WA1189.nr.pdf (accessed October 20, 2020).
Silva, Rachel. “Arkansas Listings in the National Register of Historic Places: Fayetteville’s Mount Sequoyah.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 72 (Summer 2013): 158–166.
Henderson State University
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