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Statewide Travel 6

Arkansas Properties on the National Register of Historic Places


I will never forget my first known encounter with a site on the National Register of Historic Places in Arkansas. I was attending the dedication service for the Damascus CCC Camp. A friend of mine worked on the designation and dedication in honor of his late father, and I was proud to be there to support the event.

As I listened to stories of historians, community members, family members and donors, I was taken aback at the personal nature of this old stone structure. We’ve all heard the term, “if these walls could talk.” But, on that day, I realized that history was writing out and telling us a story of bravery, hard work and preservation, all through a stone structure and the men who built it.

National Register of Historic Places - Damascus CCC Camp

That day piqued my curiosity, and I wanted to know more about this state I was settling into as an adult. My new filter of listening to stories changed how I looked at beat-up, rusty and rundown properties, and I’ve been chasing down the details ever since.

Nearly 2,800 listings on the National Register of Historic Places commemorate structures and historical sites that uniquely tell the story of Arkansas. Typically structures like Victorian homes, vernacular wooden structures, old bank buildings, courthouses, commercial districts, log cabins, and marble monuments are directory listings. Still, some unexpected locations are National Historic Places throughout Arkansas.

So many incredible stories abound in the pages of these applications for entrance into the list. They build a greater understanding of everyday Arkansans and the stories that outlived them.

National Register of Historic Places - Rowher Internment Camp

 Rohwer Internment Camp – used with permission from Arkansas Parks and Tourism

23 Arkansas Properties on the National Register of Historic Places

Gillham City Jail – used with permission from photo commons

National Register of Historic Places - Phone Booth in Prairie Grove

  • Goodlett Gin | Washington – 1883 steam-powered cotton gin
  • Titan II ICBM Launch Complex | Springhill, Center Hill, Vilonia – nuclear missile launch complex
  • Look See Tree | Coleman – fire lookout spot in drew county in a white oak tree, circa 1930
  • Adrian Brewer Studio | Little Rock – studio of Arkansas painter made from salvaged bricks and materials from nearby construction sites
  • Century Flyer | Conway – miniature train built by the National Amusement Device Company

National Register of Historic Places - Wiederkehr Wine Cellar
Wiederkehr Wine Cellar – used with permission from Arkansas Parks and Tourism

General National Historic Properties and Listings

How can I learn more about Arkansas Preservation and the National Register of Historic Places?

Here’s a challenge for you – next time you plan a trip to a new Arkansas town,  take a moment and research what National Historic Places or Arkansas Preservation properties are in the city. Making a scavenger hunt of these properties is fun to create new memories and discover new places.

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in Northwest Arkansas with her chicken man and break-dancing son. Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, small business trainer, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now, she is using those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop, which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom! Keisha loves to feed birds, read the stack on her nightstand, do dollar store crafts, cook recipes from her Pinterest boards, and chase everyday adventures on her Arkansas bucket list.

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6 responses to “Arkansas Properties on the National Register of Historic Places”

  1. Katharine says:

    Hey, Keisha! This is a great article, representing a LOT of research! I’m so glad you wrote it!
    I hope one of those other sources listed includes my favorite, which is the old school in Langley.
    Happy writing! 🙂

  2. […] Nationally Registered Historic Places […]

  3. […] big year for muralists in Arkansas. As towns across the state continue revitalizing and renovating historic properties, public art becomes an important piece of the puzzle. As a result, several cities in all four […]

  4. […] The nearly 6,000-square-foot house, located one block west of the downtown square at 207 W. Center St., was built in the late 1840s by Judge David Walker, an early settler of the city who became one of the first justices on the state Supreme Court. The house was later sold to the family of local merchant Stephen K. Stone, where it stayed through most of its history. It was hit by a Confederate cannonball during the Civil War, but was restored and eventually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. […]

  5. […] in 1994, the owners remodeled the building with the bridal store in mind. The building is on the national register of historic places, and brides and their guests from all over the United States are greeted at the original hotel […]

  6. […] mercantile-type stores occupy historic spaces, while others offer multi-functional interaction for […]

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