Museums and Historic Sites

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Entry Category: Museums and Historic Sites - Starting with M

Moorefield School

The Moorefield School in Moorefield (Independence County) was constructed around 1939 by the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1992. Located four miles east of Batesville (Independence County), Moorefield had a school system separate from that of its larger neighbor, and in early 1939, the district received funding from the NYA for construction of a new school building. The project started in the spring of 1939 and apparently continued into 1940, as the 1938–39 NYA annual report for Arkansas listed it as an active project. The completed building is a rectangular, single-story structure that includes features of the Craftsman style of architecture. The building …

Moose Addition Neighborhood Historic District

The Moose Addition Neighborhood Historic District was the first residential area of Morrilton (Conway County) to be developed. Its center (now known as Division Street) marked the dividing line between the Moose and Morrill farms, whose owners donated land so that the railroad could be built. The district encompasses portions of Division Street, Moose Avenue, Green Street, West and East Valley Streets, Green Street, and Brown Street. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 3, 2013, and is considered locally significant under Criterion C for significant and distinct architecture. The neighborhood’s boundaries encompass thirty-one structures and twenty ancillary buildings. The building composition includes mainly brick and originally wood-sided residential structures, with the exception of …

Morrilton Post Office

The 1936 Morrilton Post Office at 117 North Division Street in Morrilton (Conway County) is a one-story, brick-masonry structure on a continuous brick foundation. The building is designed in a simplified treatment of the Art Deco style of architecture. It features a mural financed through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later renamed the Section of Fine Arts), a Depression-era stimulus project that promoted public art. The post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. On January 16, 1936, the Morrilton Democrat reported that Morrilton was included in a group of seven new post offices to be built in Arkansas. The article said that it would be one story with …

Morris House (White County)

aka: Conley-Siler Residence
The pre–Civil War Morris House is one of the oldest surviving rural houses in White County. Constructed along the Military Road in 1860, the house served as a stopover station for many visitors traveling through the state during the early nineteenth century. In the late 1840s, Henry Patrick Morris, one of four brothers who left Virginia for Arkansas, settled on a farm just north of Searcy (White County) with his wife, Sarah Howerton Morris. In 1860, Henry and Sarah Morris made a contract with the builder John Ransom for a house to be built on the farm at the cost of $200. They built the house about halfway between the developing towns of Searcy and Batesville (Independence County) on a …

Morrison Plantation Smokehouse

The Morrison Plantation Smokehouse, the last remnant of the Morrison Plantation, is a stone structure that was constructed around 1854 near the communities of Saginaw and Midway in Hot Spring County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 28, 1977. Daniel Morrison moved to Hot Spring County around 1838 and began purchasing land along the Ouachita River near the future settlement of Midway. Born around 1810 in Georgia, he owned thousands of acres by 1850, including an island in the Ouachita River called Watermelon (or Water Mellon) Island. In addition to several hundred acres located on both sides of the Ouachita in Hot Spring County, Morrison also owned more than a thousand acres in nearby …

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) opened on September 20, 2008, as the first publicly funded museum of African-American history and culture in Arkansas. The MTCC derives its name from the Mosaic Templars of America (MTA), which was at its height one of the largest black fraternal societies in the United States. The museum stands at the corner of 9th Street and Broadway in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on the site of the National Headquarters of the Mosaic Templars of America. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center began with the efforts of a group of Little Rock citizens who worked to save the Mosaic Templars of America headquarters, opened in 1913, from destruction. The group, the Mosaic Templars Preservation Society, wished to …

Mount Ida Cities Service Filling Station

The Mount Ida Cities Service Filling Station at 204 Whittington Street in downtown Mount Ida (Montgomery County) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 19, 2001. It was used as a location to sell gasoline for more than forty years, closing in 1966. By the mid-1920s, enough automobiles were present in Montgomery County to support a filling station. The station was likely constructed in 1925, as the value of the lot significantly increased that year. The station operated as an independent institution until 1929, when it was leased by Louisiana Oil Refining Company. This company was part of a family of Cities Service companies, which gave the station its name. Cities Service later became known as …

Mount Pleasant Methodist Church

Mount Pleasant Methodist Church is located on Highway 248 east of Waldron (Scott County). The church’s architectural style is not common in the area, making it a unique nineteenth-century church for Scott County. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 1986. Methodist congregations were well established in Scott County as early as the 1820s. After the Civil War, Joseph L. Self brought his family to the Ouachitas from rural Georgia. They farmed and soon opened several small businesses on their property. By the 1890s, these consisted of a cotton gin, a saw and grist mill, three general stores, and a blacksmith shop. As the small-scale enterprises attracted other families to the area, it became …

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 …

Mountain View Waterworks

The Mountain View Waterworks is located on the corner of Gaylor and King streets in Mountain View, the seat of Stone County in north-central Arkansas. The metal water tower and associated fieldstone well house were built by the Public Works Administration (PWA) in 1936–37. The Mountain View Waterworks was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 5, 2006. Mountain View and Stone County suffered along with the rest of Arkansas during the Great Depression, and one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies provided much-needed assistance. The Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, which became known as the Public Works Administration, was created on June 16, 1933, as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act. While …

Mountainaire Hotel Historic District

The Mountainaire Hotel Historic District consists of two Art Moderne buildings constructed in 1947 as a hotel along Park Avenue in Hot Springs (Garland County). The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 2004, but is abandoned and dilapidated. The thermal waters in Hot Springs attracted travelers to the city for decades before a quality road system was installed linking the area to other settlements. With the paving of what is now Arkansas Highway 5 between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Hot Springs in 1925, tourists could more easily visit the springs to seek relief for medical problems. When the highway entered Hot Springs, it became Park Avenue, and a number of businesses catering …

Mulberry Home Economics Building

The Mulberry Home Economics Building, located on Church Avenue in Mulberry (Crawford County), was built between 1937 and 1939 with assistance from the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. Mulberry Campground housed one of the first schools in Crawford County in the late 1820s, and a formal school was established in the town of Mulberry in 1878, two years before the community incorporated. In 1931, Mulberry Public Schools consolidated with the Vine Prairie and Pleasant Hill school districts as part of a wave of 591 consolidations around the state, and a $45,000 brick school building was built shortly afterward. In 1937, the school …

Murphy-Jeffries Building

The Murphy-Jeffries Building, located at 2901–2903 South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is a two-story brick commercial building constructed around 1925 that served as the office of a prominent African-American businessman. The Murphy-Jeffries Building was listed on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places on April 3, 2019. John F. Murphy and Ethel Murphy built a two-story structure on what was then High Street to house a small neighborhood grocery store in one storefront and another business, initially a pharmacy, in the other. Residential space upstairs was used by the Murphys and their son and daughter-in-law. The building became the anchor of a small business district between Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth streets that served the surrounding neighborhood. …

Museum of American History

The Museum of American History, formerly known as The Museum/Cabot High, is the only student-founded and -operated museum of history in Arkansas. The award-winning museum, which is owned by the Cabot School District, was founded in 1985 on the campus of Cabot High School and was later moved to a building in downtown Cabot (Lonoke County). It is currently closed pending relocation to a new site. The idea for a museum operated by teachers and students originated in 1981 after high school teacher Mike Polston observed how historical artifacts sparked his students’ interest. He and fellow teacher David Howard formed a school history club with the stated goal of collecting, preserving, and displaying objects associated with the history of the …

Museum of Automobiles

The Museum of Automobiles is located atop Petit Jean Mountain in Conway County. This museum is primarily dedicated to the exhibition of quality antique and vintage automobiles, as well as related items for the cultural and educational benefit of the general public. Additional exhibits include an antique gun collection, a display of Arkansas license plates, and a player piano. When Winthrop Rockefeller made Arkansas his home in 1953, he developed Winrock Farms on Petit Jean Mountain. In 1961, he purchased a collection of fine antique and classic cars from the James Melton museum of Hypoluxo, Florida. He had a building constructed on Petit Jean Mountain to house the cars and named it the Museum of Automobiles. He opened the museum …

Museum of Discovery

The Museum of Discovery, founded in 1927, is the oldest museum in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Its mission as of 2012 is “to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment.” The original name of the Museum of Discovery was the Museum of Natural History and Antiquities, and it was founded by local author Julia Burnell (Bernie) Smade Babcock. She created the institution in response to the commonly held belief outside the state that Arkansas had no cultural centers and that its citizens were “bumpkins.” The museum’s articles of incorporation emphasized popular education and intellectual subject matter, “encouraging and developing the study of natural science…to the end of furnishing popular instruction and advancing educational standards.” …

Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie

The Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie in Stuttgart (Arkansas County)—also known as the Stuttgart Agricultural Museum and the Arkansas County Museum—was formed in 1974 by two lifelong Arkansas County residents, Bennie Burkett and Jack Crum, in order to preserve Arkansas County’s heritage as a center for rice production and duck hunting. The museum is funded partly by quarterly donations from the city but mostly by yearly contributions from “the donor club.” Its board of trustees is appointed by the city council. The construction of the museum began after a nonprofit group of interested citizens raised funds to build a 1,500-square-foot building on the property of the city park. It was finished in 1974. Through the years, four additions have …

Museums

Arkansas’s many museums—most focusing on state and local history, science, and military history—are an important part of Arkansas’s culture, as they promote education and the preservation of valuable artifacts. The University of Arkansas Museum in Fayetteville (Washington County), which was founded in 1873, is most likely the first public museum in Arkansas. (The university maintains the collections of the museum, though there is no dedicated museum space as of 2013.) Another early museum is the Fort Smith Museum of History, originally called the Old Commissary Museum, which was founded in 1910 in a building built in 1838; the present-day museum is located in a different historic building, the Atkinson-Williams Building. The Museum of Natural History and Antiquities (which later became …