April 27, 2017

Restoring the Heart of Berryville

As you are driving through little towns do you ever look at the buildings and wonder what the town used to look like?  What stories could the buildings share?  I often look at the little old houses, old boarded up buildings and historic town squares and wonder who lived there, what could have been made in that building or what business was once there.  Thankfully, Arkansas is full of historic buildings and quaint town squares waiting to tell their stories.

Berryville Historic Main Street Museum

On our recent trip into Northwestern Arkansas we drove through the historic town of Berryville.  Berryville is full of rich history with settlers coming to the area in 1832 and the town being formed in late 1850.  It went on to become a local pioneer trading center.  During the Civil War, the Union soldiers camped on the town square.  Sadly, by the end of the war, the area was devastated.  The town’s population had been scattered, and everything in the area had been burned with the exception of Hubbert’s Hotel and two other small houses.

Despite that devastation, the townspeople returned and rebuilt their bustling town.  In an effort to revive the downtown area in more recent times, the people of Berryville have once again come together to work at restoring some of the beautiful artwork that once decorated the historic brick buildings found downtown.

Berryville Historic Main Street Restoration

What started as an idea in an online group, quickly grew into dreams and then into reality with the assistance of so many in the community.  The downtown area’s old brick building were once home to beautiful classic advertisements for the once popular 5 and dime stores.

Berryville Historic Main Street Restoration Fundraiser

Those passionate about the restoration researched the old signs to have them recreated along with more of a similar time and style. These signs costs an average of $8,000 each, so they started fundraisers for the project.  Again, the community members and businesses in Berryville pulled together and donated materials from mortar to painting supplies.

Arkansas Coca-Cola Mural

The first mural the group chose to have restored was the iconic faded Coca-Cola mural featuring the company’s signature silhouette girl.  With its bold, bright colors and classic design, it quickly began to draw attention from those passing by and is now an iconic photo destination.

You Might
Also Like…

Photo of the Week: Petit Jean State Park

Arkansas RCA Victrola Mural

Since the project’s beginning, there have been five beautifully created murals that now decorate the faded brick buildings in the downtown area of Berryville.   The RCA Victrola was not an original to the downtown buildings but is iconic to the period the murals were restored from.

Arkansas World  Famous Saunders Museum Mural

The Saunders Gun Museum mural is advertising the museum that features an extensive collection of almost four hundred firearms.  Exhibits include guns used by the famous and infamous like Jesse and Frank James, Belle Star and Billy the Kid.  The painters featured local residents as the bus passengers in the paintings. This was such a fascinating way to tie in the community.

Arkansas Historic 62 Mural

Berryville was a hot spot on the map for being a pit stop on the Historic Highway 62.  Highway 62 was the only US Highway to directly connect Canada to Mexico.  This beautiful mural was designed to honor that time in history.  It also features paintings of several of the town’s residence.

Arkansas Buckaroo Mural

The restoration project in the heart of Berryville stems from the desire to beautify, renew, and celebrate the unique history of the Ozark town of Berryville, Arkansas.  The townspeople are ever so proud of the project and are more than willing to stop and talk about their beautiful pieces of history.  These murals symbolize more than just a painting, they tell a story of a community, of the history of the people of Berryville.

Amanda Fiveash

Arkansas Women Blogger member Amanda Fiveash can be found online at Our Homemade Life. Born in Arkansas, she lived in three other states before returning back home to raise my own family. Now a busy mama to three blessings, her days are spent homeschooling, cooking and making messes. She never turns down good dark chocolate and her zen time is working in the garden. Her house has been home to many types of animals, but currently they reside with kittens, our beloved golden and a domesticated hen that sleeps in the dog house.

View Amanda's website