South Arkansas Heritage Museum

The South Arkansas Heritage Museum (SAHM), located in Magnolia (Columbia County) in the donated Longino home at 317 West Main Street one block from the town square, is dedicated to the history and heritage of southern Arkansas. The museum’s collection consists primarily of donations from the museum’s founder and benefactors, with a focus upon tools used by workers, craftsmen, and artisans, as well as clothing and related fabric arts, home crafts, artifacts from occupations and pastimes in southern Arkansas, and items relating to prominent families in the area. It also includes photographs, documents, and a 1948 fire truck. The first floor of the museum houses the collections and is open to visitors, and the top floor is for staff offices and storage. 

The legal 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation was chartered in the state of Arkansas on March 31, 2016. The board of directors is made up of a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer, as well as a director of education. It is funded primarily by members, private donors, and small nonprofit business grants.

Early planning for the South Arkansas Heritage Museum considered the use of the late nineteenth-century Alexander-Warnock House located on the Southern Arkansas University (SAU) campus, although the museum has no association with SAU. Instead, in April 2019, the family of Galloway and Anne Woodward donated the home of Dr. Henry Alvan Longino to the museum. The Woodwards had been responsible for listing the Longino home on the National Register of Historic Places. The home was built around 1910 and designed by Eugene C. Seibert, renowned architect of the Central Christian Church and the Miller County Courthouse. A large part of the museum’s exhibit relates to the protection and preservation of the Longino home. 

After restorative work and remodeling of the Longino home was completed, the museum held a soft opening on May 21, 2022, during the annual Magnolia Blossom Festival in Magnolia.

SAHM’s statement of purpose declares that it is an educational institution focusing upon history and culture, guided by the generally accepted principles and standards of museum stewardship, archival management, and historical research. The museum seeks to be a central repository and archive for written, printed, and graphic paper documents and photographs relevant to the area’s history and culture, especially that of any Columbia, Nevada, and Lafayette County towns in which no local historical group exists.

For additional information:
“Arkansas Museum Gains Historic Home.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 27, 2019. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/apr/27/museum-gains-historic-home-20190427/ (accessed June 3, 2021). 

“Dr. H. A. Longino House.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/CO0305.nr.pdf (accessed January 15, 2020). 

“Longino House Will Become New South Arkansas Heritage Museum.” Magnolia Reporter, April 16, 2019. Online at http://www.magnoliareporter.com/news_and_business/local_news/article_2f1a5adc-606b-11e9-a718-737253ab9dff.html (accessed June 3, 2021). 

“South Arkansas Heritage Museum Seeks to Educate Public, Preserve Region’s History.” Magnolia Reporter, March 23, 2018. Online at http://www.magnoliareporter.com/news_and_business/article_7344a670-2e78-11e8-a6ab-4324d0f44a23.html (accessed June 3, 2021). 

South Arkansas Heritage Museum. http://www.southarheritagemuseum.org/ (accessed June 3, 2021). 

Katelynn Caple
Henderson State University

Last Updated: 07/21/2022