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Off the Beaten Track: Railside Building to Event Venue

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What was once an unused, outdated industrial building is now a 6,000-square-foot event venue making a regional impression. Off the Beaten Track in Nashville, Arkansas began as a manufacturing facility for a soil product in the 1960s and now hosts guests and families for special celebrations.

The building, located next to a railroad track, stored the finished soil product until it was shipped by rail to Fort Smith. After that operation ended, the building was used as a trucking company, shop and storage facility. It then sat empty until the current owner Gail Hearnsberger purchased it in 2018. That’s when the cleanup and restoration began.

Hearnsberger says it was a “sow’s ear to silk purse” project including many modifications like a new roof, full kitchen, the addition of 250-year-old doors from Portugal, custom chandeliers, Edison lights and seating accommodations for up to 300 guests. When visiting with a friend about the property renovations and location, Hearnsberger said “Well, it’s just off the beaten track.”

The name stuck.

A celebration location

The first event Hearnsberger hosted in 2018 was “Trade Days” with various vendors. After that, she got lots of inquiries for other uses. Hearnsberger says Off the Beaten Track quickly turned into an event venue for birthdays, anniversaries, class reunions, retirements, fundraisers and weddings. They have hosted benefits for Arkansas Children’s Hospital and for the Arkansas chapter of the ALS Association.

The wedding idea struck the biggest chord and became the primary use for Off the Beaten Track.

“Industrial Elegance”

Bridal parties can make use of several areas on the property: a treehouse, outdoor ceremony sites, a feed bin, a Texas limestone arch, a large deck and a bridal suite.

Hearnsberger refers to the property as having an “industrial elegance.” One of her favorite compliments came from a visitor out of Dallas who said he would be comfortable in his cowboy boots or tuxedo in this beautiful building.

Hearnsberger and her team make the process fun and personal for each couple who chooses to get married at Off the Beaten Track. On social media, she features their backstory, how they met and a bit about their wedding plans.

This once-abandoned building offers a contrast for stylish, formal wedding parties against a casual backdrop of vintage decor. The location now hosts dozens of events each year and sees guests from all over the Southern United States.

Photos used with permission from Gail Hearnsberger and Amanda Reed.

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There’s just something about getting to know Arkansas through its sights, stops and coffee shops that makes Holli Boyett’s heart happy. She loves going to new places, introducing herself to the people there, and leaving with friends. Holli believes Arkansas is the best: friendly people, beautiful views, unique and delicious eats, and an abundance of small shops. Holli is active with her local Junior Auxiliary chapter as well as her local Chamber of Commerce. Holli records her Arkansas outings and community involvement on Instagram @arkansas_with_holli.

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