Museums and Historic Sites

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Entry Category: Museums and Historic Sites - Starting with S

Saline County Courthouse

The Saline County Courthouse, located at 200 North Main Street, is in the historic commercial district of Benton (Saline County). The courthouse square is surrounded by Conway and Sevier streets, named after two Arkansas families that joined together to create an influential political faction in the nineteenth century called “the Family.” The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the structure as architecturally and historically significant due to its Romanesque Revival architecture. The Saline County Courthouse, featured in the 1973 movie White Lightning because filmmakers considered it to be a typical Southern courthouse, is the third seat of justice in the county’s history. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 22, 1979. In 1836, William Woodruff, editor …

Sam Epstein House

The Sam Epstein House in Lake Village (Chicot County), constructed in 1910, was of historical and cultural significance on several counts. The wood-frame house itself was an interesting blend of Colonial Revival design with touches of Craftsman and Vernacular, primarily in the additions and the second story. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 21, 1992, but burned down approximately twenty years later, on June 30, 2012. Sam Epstein came to America from czarist Russia at the end of the nineteenth century. As a young adult, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his brother Nathan and peddled a variety of goods between that city and the Louisiana border. Epstein left Memphis to become one of the …

Sarah Bird Northrup Ridge House

The Sarah Bird Northrup Ridge House is the oldest house still standing in Fayetteville (Washington County), dating back to 1836. Its original pine flooring and field stone fireplaces have endured to the present. It was built with the latest methods of the time, including mortised construction, shake shingles, and square-headed nails. The original cabin style was called “dog-trot” or “dog-run” and consisted of two single rooms separated by an open passage called a breezeway. A common roof covered the two rooms and the breezeway. In later years, the house was made into two stories and converted to “salt box” style, and the breezeway was converted into a central hallway. The Ridge House, at 230 West Center, is now owned and …

Scipio A. Jones House

The Scipio A. Jones House is a 1928 Craftsman-style residence on Cross Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County) that was the home of Scipio Africanus Jones, a renowned African-American attorney, and his second wife, Lillie. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 28, 1999. Jones was born a slave in 1863 near Tulip (Dallas County). Moving to Little Rock around 1881, he attended Walden Seminary (now Philander Smith College) in Little Rock and Bethel Institute (now Shorter College) in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) before passing the bar in 1889. Jones would practice law in Little Rock for the remainder of his life, with his most noteworthy case being the defense of the so-called Elaine …

Scott Plantation Settlement

The Scott Plantation Settlement, with its twenty-five exhibits, represents plantation history for the first 100 years of Arkansas statehood. It rests on more than eight acres of the Illallee Plantation donated by Virginia Alexander, daughter of Arthur Alexander and Otelia George Alexander, who purchased the land in 1898. The historical sequence of plantation culture can be seen in the preserved buildings and other exhibits dating from the antebellum period through the early twentieth century. The Scott Plantation Settlement is located in Scott, on the Pulaski–Lonoke county line, approximately twelve miles east of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Its original owner, Chester Ashley, was a prominent attorney, land speculator, and U.S. senator. Joan Dietz, daughter of Virginia Alexander, is credited with the …

Searcy County Courthouse

The Searcy County Courthouse is in the historic commercial district of Marshall (Searcy County). Built in 1889, this two-story building, made of stone native to the area, stands as one of the oldest courthouses in Arkansas. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the courthouse as architecturally and historically significant as an outstanding example of an Arkansas Adamesque building. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 12, 1976. Since Searcy County turned eleven acres into its county seat in 1856, three courthouses have managed local affairs. The first was a log cabin, one of the few structures in town at that time along with a two-story hotel, a mercantile store, and a collection of houses. At …

Sebastian County Courthouse

aka: Fort Smith City Hall
The Sebastian County Courthouse stands at 100 South 6th Street, less than a mile from the Fort Smith National Cemetery, in the heart of the frontier city of Fort Smith (Sebastian County). The white, Art Deco–style courthouse is home to one of the county’s two seats of justice (the other is in Greenwood) as well as Fort Smith’s City Hall. This is the only public building in Arkansas that has this dual purpose. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the building for its historical significance due to its New Deal–era construction, as well as its architectural attributes. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 8, 1993. After Sebastian County’s establishment in 1851, citizens of the …

Sebastian County Road 4G Bridge

The Sebastian County Road 4G Bridge, located on what is now West Harmony Road where it crosses a tributary of Sugar Loaf Creek near West Hartford (Sebastian County), is an open masonry substructure bridge constructed in 1940 through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era public relief agency. Sebastian County leaders in 1939 decided to undertake an ambitious and widespread effort to improve rural roads throughout the county with assistance from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies. They applied for funding from the WPA and on December 11, 1939, that organization approved $1,226,362 for a county-wide project to “improve roads, including clearing; grubbing; excavating and grading; constructing curbs, gutters and bridges; draining; laying pipe; surfacing; and performing incidental and …

Shady Grove Delmar Church and School

The Shady Grove Delmar Church and School is a historic building located near Delmar (Carroll County). The church is about three miles southeast of Osage (Carroll County). Constructed around 1880, the building housed a school until 1945, and a church regularly met in the building until 1969. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 27, 2015. The first settlers in the Osage Valley arrived around 1830. The population grew slowly, and by 1889, Osage included four homes, three stores, and the school. The land on which the church was constructed was donated to the district by Thomas Sisco, the son of an early settler. Sisco owned several businesses in Delmar, including a post office, sawmill, …

Shady Lake CCC Bridges

The Shady Lake CCC Bridges were nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A with local significance for their association with the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Polk County. The bridges, completed by crews from Camp Shady in December 1936, were constructed as a part of the Shady Lake Dam project begun in October 1935. The CCC originally developed the area for recreational purposes, and the bridges and road still service numerous camping and picnicking sites around the lake in the twenty-first century. The Shady Lake CCC Bridges were also nominated under Criterion C with local significance as a good example of CCC native-stone bridge construction. These single-span structures are supported by arched, corrugated …

Shelton-Lockeby House

The Shelton-Lockeby House is located on Springhill Church Road, west of Murfreesboro (Pike County) in the Spring Hill community. Constructed in 1905, the single-story, dogtrot-style home was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2005. The land upon which the house was constructed was owned by a number of individuals before being purchased by James Shelton in 1896. The taxable value of the land increased in 1905, indicating that a house was constructed on the property at that time. Shelton sold the land to W. M. Riley in 1907, who in turn sold it to James Lockeby in 1915. James and his wife, Lula Ann, raised animals and grew a number of crops on the property, …

Sherman Mound Site

The Sherman Mound is one of the larger and better-preserved Native American earthworks in the Central Mississippi Valley. The site is located in Arkansas’s Delta region within Mississippi County. During the Middle Mississippian archaeological period (AD 1200–1400), the Sherman Mound and its associated village was a large, fortified town covering forty-four acres that served as a civic/ceremonial center for a chiefdom-level society. The Sherman Mound site witnessed multiple occupations. Archaeological evidence, principally pottery analysis, suggests Native Americans initially colonized it during the Late Woodland period (circa AD 400–700) when it was a small-to-medium-sized Baytown phase village. The most significant occupation of the site took place during the Middle Mississippian period (AD 1200–1400), when the site was developed into a large, …

Shiloh Historic District

The Shiloh Historic District near downtown Springdale (Washington and Benton counties) comprises thirty-two acres of structures, trails, and sites reflecting Springdale’s early history—from about 1830 (when the community was called Shiloh) through the early twentieth century. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 31, 1978, for its significance in early settlement, architecture, and industry. The district is roughly bounded by Spring Creek; Johnson Avenue; and Shiloh, Mill, and Spring Streets. By city ordinances, Springdale formally established the Shiloh Historic District in 1978, created an appeals procedure in 1978, and removed from the district 10.38 acres along Main Street in 1991. The original district included eighteen structures, a number of which have historic/architectural significance; twelve sites …

Shiloh Meeting Hall

aka: Shiloh Church
Located on the banks of Spring Creek in downtown Springdale (Washington and Benton counties), the historic Shiloh Meeting Hall—formerly called the Shiloh Church and the Odd Fellows Lodge—is one of the oldest buildings in northwestern Arkansas. Built in 1871, it has served as a gathering place for church congregations, fraternal organizations, and civic clubs, and it has hosted many community events. The two-story frame building was a collaborative project of the Shiloh Regular Baptist Church (also known as the Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church), Liberty Missionary Baptist Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the Springdale Masonic Lodge No. 316. Land was donated by the Reverend John Holcomb, who was a minister, an elder, and an influential member of the Shiloh …

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church

The Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1200 Hanger Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), was built in 1919 in the late Gothic Revival style. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 24, 2020. According to Little Rock city directories, the congregation had constructed a building at the southwest corner of 12th and Hanger under the leadership of the Reverend Jack Steele by 1897. Complete with a bell tower in the center of the front façade, the one-and-a-half-story, wood-frame structure served the primarily African-American congregation until 1919. The longest-serving pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church was the Reverend Caleb Darnell (C. D.) Pettaway, who served from 1927 until his death in 1968. At the same …

Shiloh Museum of Ozark History

The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale (Washington and Benton counties) serves the public by providing resources for finding meaning, enjoyment, and inspiration in the exploration of the Arkansas Ozarks. The museum takes its name from the pioneer community of Shiloh, which became Springdale in the 1870s. In 1881, a five-year-old Nebraska boy named Guy Howard found an arrowhead in the family garden, sparking an interest in Native American lore that would last a lifetime. The Howard family moved from Nebraska to Springdale by covered wagon in the 1890s, and Guy Howard soon discovered that the Ozarks were full of American Indian artifacts. His collection grew and grew. By the 1920s, local people were flocking to the Howard home …

Shoppach House

aka: John F. Shoppach House
aka: Sadie Praytor Home
The Shoppach House, located at 508 North Main Street in Benton (Saline County), is the oldest surviving brick structure in Saline County. During the Civil War, the small brick house was home to Confederate private James H. Shoppach of Company E, First Arkansas Infantry. However, it was used to house occupying Union forces under Lieutenant Henry C. Caldwell in the fall of 1863. The Shoppach House was built by German immigrant John William Shoppach in 1852. The bricks used to build the house, and its well, were made on site. Shoppach was born in Hessen, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1834, eventually making his way to present-day Saline County, where he built his family homestead in the …

Siloam Springs Museum

The Siloam Springs Museum has been preserving and exhibiting the history of Siloam Springs (Benton County) and its vicinity since 1969. Permanent and changing exhibits tell the story of this area that was once an Osage hunting ground and now boasts a diverse industrial base, beautiful parks, three National Register Historic Districts, and John Brown University (JBU). Citizens concerned that important pieces of local history were being lost met at Siloam Springs City Hall beginning in July 1969 to discuss the establishment of a museum to preserve this history. The Siloam Springs Museum Society was incorporated on November 13, 1969. The society’s nine-member board of directors oversees operation of the museum and owns the collection. The last run of the …

Sink-Crumb Post 72 American Legion Hut

The Sink-Crumb Post 72 American Legion Hut, located on the northeastern corner of 2nd and Cherry streets in the small Clay County community of Knobel, is a tin-roofed cypress log building designed in the Rustic aesthetic common among American Legion buildings erected during the early 1930s. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 25, 2008. As with other towns around Arkansas, Knobel was home to many World War I veterans, and when the state’s American Legion leadership began encouraging the creation of additional posts in the late 1920s, members decided to band together and create Sink-Crumb Post 72. The post—likely named for local men who died while in military service—was founded in the spring of …

Smithville Public School Building

The Smithville Public School Building, located on Highway 117 in Smithville (Lawrence County), is a single-story, T-shaped educational structure built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era public relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 14, 1993. The first school in Smithville, then the county seat of Lawrence County, was a one-room log building built before the Civil War at the southwest corner of the Smithville Cemetery. School teacher Jasper N. Hillhouse later built a one-room building in 1872 on land that was donated by W. C. Sloan. As Smithville thrived in the late nineteenth century, two rooms were added to accommodate the growing student population. Smithville’s fortunes waned in …

Snowball Gymnasium

The Snowball Gymnasium is a one-story concrete-block building located to the west of downtown Snowball (Searcy County). As the site of sporting events and other community gatherings, the Snowball Gymnasium has been an important community center and gathering place for the Snowball community since the mid-twentieth century. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 16, 2020. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a new school at Snowball in 1938. The school campus was expanded in 1956 with the construction of the gymnasium. The gymnasium was built by contractors Vance Crow and Bea Stuart of Harrison (Boone County), and they boarded in Snowball with the Joe Cash family while the building was being constructed. The first …

South Elementary School (Wynne)

South Elementary School, located at 711 East Union Avenue in Wynne (Cross County), is a single-story, brick-veneered four-room schoolhouse constructed in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era public relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 24, 2006. In the early part of the twentieth century, white children in Wynne’s segregated school system were attending classes in a 1906 building; in 1928, an elementary school and gymnasium were erected when President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal offered an opportunity for funds for a new school. The school district successfully applied for financing from the WPA to build a new school in the fall of 1938. The Wynne Daily Star-Progress reported in …

Southern Tenant Farmers Museum

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum in Tyronza (Poinsett County), which opened on October 6, 2006, focuses on the tenant farming system of agriculture in the South and the farm labor movement that arose in response to this system. The museum is owned and operated as an educational program of Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County). It is housed in the historic Mitchell-East Building, which served during the 1930s as a dry-cleaning business for H. L. Mitchell and a service station for Clay East, two of the principal founders of the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union (STFU). The museum was created after the Tyronza community approached Arkansas State University for assistance in saving the rapidly deteriorating building and in utilizing it …

Spirit of the American Doughboy Monuments

The Spirit of the American Doughboy Monuments in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County) are memorial sculptures erected following World War I to honor Arkansas servicemen who fought and died in the war. The Arkansas statues were dedicated as part of a nationwide series of Doughboy sculptures designed by artist E. M. “Dick” Viquesney. At least 136 Viquesney Doughboys survive in thirty-five U.S. states, and some experts consider the Doughboy to be one of the most-seen pieces of outdoor statuary in the nation. Viquesney, who lived from 1876 to 1946, devoted two years to perfecting what was to become his trademark. He interviewed scores of World War I veterans, studied hundreds of photographs, and used two soldiers …

Springdale Poultry Industry Historic District

The Springdale Poultry Industry Historic District was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A with statewide significance and under Criteria Consideration G for properties that have achieved significance within the past fifty years. The period of significance for the nomination of the district ends in 1969 to reflect the year that Tyson Foods moved its main office from East Emma Ave. to Johnson Road and Jeff D. Brown and Company sold its hatchery building on East Emma Ave. The district consists of three buildings, located at 317 and 319 East Emma Ave. and 316 East Meadow Ave., and was added to the National Register on September 23, 2011. Jeff D. Brown and Company: 317 East Emma Ave. …

Springfield to Fayetteville Road

The Springfield to Fayetteville Road was built upon elaborate networks of horse trails that were likely established by the Osage. The trails extended into northwestern Arkansas and as Springfield, Missouri, was being established in southwestern Missouri in the late 1820s, settlers co-opted the established trails for their own use. The trail from Springfield to Fayetteville (Washington County) came to be called by that name and was established in 1835, totaling 146 miles. It was the major road prior to the 1838 establishment of what later became known as the Wire Road or Telegraph Road by the United States military. Also called Pioneer Road, the Springfield to Fayetteville Road was employed by the U.S. Army in 1838 to remove Native Americans …

St. Edward Catholic Church

St. Edward Catholic Church is part of the second Catholic parish to be established in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and is located on the east side of the city. It began to accommodate increased German settlement in Arkansas during the 1870s and 1880s. Its first building was dedicated in August 1885 as St. Edward Catholic Church in honor of the patron saint of Little Rock bishop Edward Fitzgerald. A new building was built in the early 1900s, and there have been several renovations over the years; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. As more Hispanics moved to central Arkansas in the 1990s, St. Edward attracted these parishioners by giving sermons in Spanish. Growing oppression …

St. Francis County Museum

The St. Francis County Museum in Forrest City (St. Francis County) is an initiative of the St. Francis County Cultural Foundation. It was established to preserve the history and heritage of the St. Francis County area. The museum’s scope includes agriculture, business, military history, genealogy, education, transportation, and prominent figures of the area. The St. Francis County Museum was originally located at 419 Front Street in Forrest City. It opened at this location in 1995 but quickly outgrew its environment. The members of the Rush family were contacted by Brad Beavers, a local attorney, to move the museum into their former residence, located in downtown Forrest City at 603 Front Street. The St. Francis County Museum bought the Rush-Gates Home …

St. Joe Historical Missouri and North Arkansas Depot and Museum

The St. Joe Historical Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad Depot and Museum, which is located in St. Joe (Searcy County), is a repository of railroad and local history. It also serves as an area tourist information center. The museum, which opened in May 2011, is housed in the 1902 Missouri and North Arkansas (M&NA) Railroad depot. When the M&NA ended area service in 1946, the depot closed after over forty-three years of operation. Over the next few years, the building was used as a church, to provide classrooms for the local school district, and as a feed store. Once the feed store went out of business, the vacant building began to deteriorate into a community eyesore. A movement to preserve …

St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Helena-West Helena)

St. Mary’s Catholic Church is a Gothic Revival–style building along Columbia Street in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County), designed by renowned architect and designer Charles Eames and his architectural partner Robert Walsh. Charles Eames was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Washington University in St. Louis for a few years before opening an architecture firm with Charles Grey and Walter E. Pauley. After a solo trip to Mexico in 1933, Eames started a new firm with Walsh in St. Louis in 1934. During the 1930s, Eames and Robert Walsh worked on several projects in and around St. Louis as well as two Catholic churches in eastern Arkansas: one in Helena-West Helena and one in Paragould (Greene County). Eames …