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George Klein Tourist Court Historic District

aka: Klein Center
aka: Racheau Center
aka: Green Elf Court
The George Klein Tourist Court Historic District at 501 Morrison Avenue in Hot Springs (Garland County) is a well-preserved example of Craftsman-style roadside lodging. Built by 1939 as a tourist court and apartments consisting of seven bungalows around an octagonal two-story office building, it later became the Green Elf Court Apartments. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 8, 1993. Hot Springs was an established resort town before the Civil War because of the widespread belief that the hot springs had medicinal qualities. The first bathhouses predated the federal government reserving the land around the springs in 1832. Access to the area increased over time, first via a narrow-gauge railway from Malvern (Hot Spring …

German National Bank

From its opening in 1875 to its closing in 1930, the German National Bank (under a variety of names) was considered a financial pillar of Little Rock (Pulaski County) and central Arkansas. Saluted by the Arkansas Gazette as the “leading bank of the state” in 1876, it grew to become the largest bank in the state, largely through bank consolidations in the first quarter of the twentieth century. In early 1875, the German Savings Bank was organized by Charles Penzel. A prominent financier, Penzel came to the United States from Bohemia in 1857 and served as the bank’s first president. The business and fixtures of the bank were purchased from George Brodie and Sons, which had gone out of business …

Goodwill Industries of Arkansas

Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is a not-for-profit enterprise agency that brings work to low-income individuals who otherwise face significant barriers to employment, including generational poverty and dependence on public aid, physical or mental disabilities, homelessness, periods of incarceration, substance abuse, or long-term unemployment. Goodwill Industries serves Arkansans with a host of rehabilitation services, career services centers, retail stores, and attended donation stations throughout the state. Goodwill Industries was founded in 1902 in the South End of Boston, Massachusetts, by Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister, who believed that all people should have the opportunity to work without regard to race, disability, or criminal history. Helms’s philosophy, summarized in the phrase “Not charity, but a chance,” expanded into a worldwide network …

Grapette International, Inc.

Grapette soda was developed by Benjamin Tyndle Fooks in Camden (Ouachita County) in 1939. Once one of the bestselling non-cola soft drinks in the United States, Grapette virtually disappeared from the marketplace for most of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s after being bought by a leading competitor. As the twenty-first century began, Grapette International in Malvern (Hot Spring County), the last remaining subsidiary of Fooks’s Grapette Company, re-acquired the Grapette and Orangette trademarks, reuniting the original flavors with the brand names. Currently Grapette, Orangette, and two other flavors made by Grapette International are distributed nationwide exclusively in Walmart Inc. stores as part of their store brand line of soft drinks. Fooks bought a soft-drink bottling plant in Camden in 1926 …

Great Southern Hotel

The Great Southern Hotel, also known as the Rusher Hotel or Hotel Rusher, is a historic hotel building at 127 West Cedar Street near the town square in Brinkley (Monroe County), about seventy miles west of Memphis, Tennessee. Brinkley was an important railroad town in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The three-story brick building was constructed in 1915 to serve as Brinkley’s Union Station. Its main entrance originally faced the railway tracks but was reoriented to a street façade after the decline of the railroad. The Great Southern Hotel building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 18, 1986. The building is part of Brinkley’s Lick Skillet Railroad Work Station Historic District, which itself …

Griffin Auto Company Building

The Griffin Auto Company building was considered the finest car dealership building in the city of El Dorado (Union County) when it opened in 1928. The building exemplifies the architectural transition from the traditional storefront showrooms to super service stations. The Murphy Arts District (MAD) purchased the Griffin building in 2012, restoring and converting it into a farm-to-table restaurant and music venue. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 25, 2001, and included in the El Dorado Commercial Historic District on August 21, 2003, the Griffin Auto Company Building is located at 117 E. Locust, two blocks from El Dorado’s courthouse square. Its boxy, symmetrical massing was originally divided into three sections: a filling station, a showroom, …

Group, The

The Group, Inc., is an intentional community (or commune) that was established at two locations in rural Arkansas before relocating to Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the mid-1970s. In Little Rock, they established a number of successful businesses, including the Internet service provider Aristotle, Inc. In 1964, a group of high school students from Odessa, Texas, formed a musical group named after their leader, Dixon Bowles. They grew in popularity, practicing and playing around Texas. Later, in Hollywood, they met with Dan Blocker, the actor who played Hoss in the television show Bonanza. In 1966, Blocker, who was originally from Odessa and knew of the group, let them use his name. Living in Hollywood, the Dan Blocker Singers became popular …