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Northwest Travel 1

Prairie Grove: More than a Battlefield

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Dec. 7 is an important date for the community of Prairie Grove, but it doesn’t make the battle fought in 1862 the only destination in this often-overlooked Northwest Arkansas town. “A grove of trees in a beautiful valley” is what brought early settlers to the area, and a traveling preacher established a community once he found a hidden spring nearby.

These days, Prairie Grove has a reputation as a destination for antique and vintage shopping, with a few other highlights thrown in.

Phone Booth in Prairie Grove, Arkansas

Ten things to do in Prairie Grove

1. Free Standing Airlight Telephone Booth

Corner of East Douglas and Parker Street, across from the entrance to the battlefield | more info

The American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) company began placing Airlight Outdoor Phone Booths in 1954, and the local phone company installed this one in 1960. This effort to install phone booths in outdoor public spaces provided access and ease of calling for anyone. In 2015, the phone booth was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It was the only phone booth on the register. The original phone is still mounted and serves as an example to current generations of a time gone by when we did not carry a phone in our pockets.

2. Southern Mercantile Antiques

107 E Buchanan | website

An upscale vintage market located in the home of the 1904 downtown corner mercantile that reveals a sacred past. The beautiful floors and expansive mercantile windows give way to a vintage marketplace with new accessories and food goods mixed throughout. The main showroom floor is a show stopper unto itself and worth a stroll all on its own.

3. Daisies and Olives

129 E Buchanan | website

Daisies and Olives, a flea market, antiques and gift store, anchors the downtown retail space, occupied by multiple vendors using their interior design skills and antiquing “hobby” to fill the walls with joy and delight. Historic Prairie Grove has a reputation as a hub of antiquing and the award-winning D&O is one of the main reasons.

4. Prairie Grove Public Library

818 W Buchanan | website

The Prairie Grove library serves as a great example to smaller communities for ways to take an abandoned building and turn it into a usable space for every citizen. The former Walmart Express building is now home to a combined technology, reading and learning center. The children’s library area hosts activities and is an educational center for its youngest patrons, including access to the outdoor playground.

Prairie Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church and Cemetery

5. Prairie Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church and Cemetery

202 W Buchanan Street | website

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, now called “The Chapel on the Prairie,” was organized between 1830 and 1832 and was the first church and schoolhouse in the original community. During the Civil War and Battle at Prairie Grove, the first structure was the headquarters for Confederate General Thomas Hindman, starting the day before the battle. Following all skirmishes, the Union soldiers took it over and used it as their hospital. Through the winder of 1863, it remained their headquarters. Part of the building was torn down to make coffins and later burned down as they left the area. The current building was privately owned and was restored to its original state 150 years ago.

6. Magnolia House Coffee

151 E Buchanan | website

Magnolia House Coffee is named for the gas station that once filled this busy corner of the main street. Owners Richard and Deidre Mays used their love of coffee in a new location to create something new. Magnolia’s creativity and lively approach to loving locals has fueled their success. Well, that and great coffee. For more than four years, they have served locally roasted Onyx coffee, expanded their offerings with Magnolia Bakery to include cookie toast, and currently offer catering options with crazing boards and mobile coffee stations.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

7. Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

506 East Douglas Street | website 

The battlefield commemorates the win that added Northwest Arkansas to the Union, a central destination in Prairie Grove. While considered a national battlefield, the park is part of the Arkansas State Parks system. Biannually, the park hosts Arkansas’ largest Civil War reenactment on the first weekend of Dec.. In addition, the grounds of the park are open daily for driving tours, and a paved path provides a pleasant walking space.

8. Rustic Rooster Flea Market

13180 W Hwy 62 | website

This flea market is hometown shopping at its finest. A collaborative shopping space with a flea market feel, the antique vehicles in the yard out front make it destination-worthy. Inside, shoppers can find vendor booths full of antique dishes, boutique children’s clothing, seasonal decor and unique hand-painted furniture. Big and little boys will appreciate the fire engines, carriages and buses covered with patina.

Crescent Boutique Prairie Grove Arkansas

9. The Crescent Boutique

127 E Buchanan | website 

This main street-style boutique fills the walls of a department store serving northwest Arkansas for nearly 100 years. Unique spiritwear, girlfriend gear, seasonal apparel, and handmade jewelry set the store apart from its neighbors.

10. Flamingo Springs Camping Resort

15475 Greasy Valley Rd | website

Modeled after a park the owners visited in California, the part RV park, part camping destination, part boutique hotel has captured the hearts of many. The resort features eight vintage trailers, each decorated with a 1950s vacationers vibe. Initially, the park was dreamed for Nashville. But while stationed in Northwest Arkansas for a traveling job, the owners fell in love with the idea of this artist’s retreat. But Junk Ranch attendees and creative travelers coming through the area find a piece of history in current accommodations around a fire pit, in-ground pool, and hot tub in a 1950s era Palm Springs vacation destination.

Prairie Grove is a great town to couple with a visit to Lincoln, Historic Cane Hill, or the Pea Ridge National Military Park.

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in South Arkansas with her husband and sweet Boxer, Bailey and one-year-old 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, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now she is using all of 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!

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One response to “Prairie Grove: More than a Battlefield”

  1. […] Fayetteville National Cemetery – national military cemetery opened in 1867, initially as a final resting place for soldiers killed in the Civil War battles at Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove […]

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