Rogers, Arkansas: Admire Turn-of-the-Century Architecture

Beautiful turn-of-the-century buildings are at the heart of Roger's appeal.

Welcome to my hometown — Rogers, Arkansas. It's tucked away in the northwest corner of the state, surrounded by some of the prettiest country you'll ever see. We're minutes from Beaver Lake, a 30,000-acre reservoir in the Ozark Mountains, so lots of visitors come here for the scenery. But our thriving little downtown is worth a look, too.

Rogers was established in 1881 as a shipping point along the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad line (known around here as the Frisco). In fact, the town was named in honor of C.W. Rogers, the Frisco's general manager at the time.

Most of the original downtown buildings are still here. Beautifully maintained, they house small, inviting shops and cafes overlooking brick-lined streets. It all creates a classic small-town look–let me take you on a quick walking tour.

Let's start with the Rogers Historical Museum in the Hawkins House on Second Street. This turn-of-the-century home is filled with heirlooms.

“The Attic” area gives children hands-on access to working antiques such as a crank telephone, cash register and treadle sewing machine.

Walnut Street, our main thoroughfare, has many interesting shops and antique stores and leads you right to Frisco Park. Be sure to check out the vintage pedestal clock and old caboose in this charming spot.

Barbershops to BB Guns
On First Street, you can peek into Townsend's Barbershop, one of two traditional barbershops in town. They still have old-fashioned barber poles outside. Step inside and you'll feel like you're in Floyd's shop in Mayberry, R.F.D.!

For another glimpse of the past, Poor Richard's Gifts and Confectionery features a solid marble soda fountain that's been in use since 1907, when the building housed the Old Applegate Pharmacy. Check out the 184 solid-mahogany drawers with their original porcelain pulls.

Right next door is the Daisy Airgun Museum, a must-see for anyone who fondly recalls those Daisy Red Ryder BB guns. The Daisy Manufacturing Company moved to Rogers from Michigan in 1958. The exhibits are fascinating — they serve up a real slice of Americana.

The Coffee's Always on

A place that serves up some delicious food is Wesner's Grill, where the coffee's always on. This is where the local folks come to eat, so you know the grub is good. Grab a seat at a table or booth, or sit at the counter and visit with the cook while he fixes your meal. Another good place to eat is the Crumpet Tea Room, which is known for its crumpet orange rolls.

On Cherry Street, you should visit Hairlooms, a hair salon with a twist–it's filled with antique beauty shop items. Check out the old-style hair curler! And while you're there, say hello to owner Hilarie Manion.

Well, as you can tell, there's a lot to explore here in Rogers. So when you're ready to enjoy life at a slower pace, stop in and see us. Whether you want a day of leisurely shopping or a perfect spot to explore nature's wonders, you can find it all right here.

If You Visit… Rogers is on U.S. Highway 71, 204 miles northwest of Little Rock, just south of the Missouri-Arkansas line. For information about lodging and other area attractions, check out the Chamber of Commerce, call 1-800-364-1240.

More to See

Nearby attractions include War Eagle, a picturesque community about 13 miles east of Rogers, off State Highway 12. It's the site of the War Eagle Mill Fall Arts and Crafts Show, the state's largest event of its kind (held Oct. 14-17 this year). War Eagle is noted for the War Eagle Mill, a working water-powered gristmill that sells whole grain flours made on-site. For details, call 1-501-789-5343. War Eagle Cavern, noted for its spectacular natural entrance, is also nearby, as is Pea Ridge National Military Park, where a crucial Civil War battle was fought in 1862.

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