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Homestead Tour

Homestead Memories

Homestead Tour

Clark’s Cabin

The first building you will see on the Homestead tour is Clark’s Cabin. Clark’s Cabin was a dogtrot building built by Jesse Brunson during the Depression. Unfortunately, Clark’s Cabin was severely damaged during a 2003 tornado, so the entire front room is no longer standing.  Homestead was able to save the kitchen, which is furnished just as it would have been 100 years ago.

 

The kitchen features a Home Comfort cook stove, which is one of 6 brought into Harrisburg by train and purchased by the Fair family.  The Homestead Christmas party regularly uses the stove each year!

Loom House

Once located at the foot of Crowley’s Ridge in Whitehall, the Loom House was originally used as a corn crib and is believed to have been built sometime around 1880.  The notches on this building are the type known as chamfer and notch, and are most likely German in origin.

The logs used to construct the BROOM SHOP were saved from the home of Phil Parker's 2nd Great-Grandfather, Moses Pitts. Pitts was the last surviving Confederate soldier in Cross County, and built this home when he returned from the Civil War in the 1860's.

Although the house was torn down in the 1930's, one wall of logs were salvaged and stored in a barn until the Parkers used them to construct the open faced Broom House. Here you'll see brooms made by the Parkers on an antique broom-making machine patented in 1878.

 

Homestead brooms are wildly popular, and only a limited amount are made each year. For more information about Homestead Brooms, click here.

General Store

The HOMESTEAD GENERAL STORE was a three room round log dwelling donated by the Jernigan family and reconstructed close to the original layout, except for the vaulted ceiling. And the enclosed middle room, which was originally an open dogtrot. The store contains many items for sale, including lye soap, sorghum, brooms, and corn meal– all made at the Homestead. Many of these items are available for sale online– click here for product list.

The large BARN is constructed of round logs from the American Legion Hut in Trumann, AR. It is packed full of old hit n' miss engines, equipment, and tools - looking as though a farmer simply walked away one day and left everything as it was.

Blacksmith Shop

The Blacksmith Shop was also constructed with logs from the American Legion hut.  The Homestead Blacksmith is a popular fixture at our events, making Courtin’ Candles, S Hooks, and a broad assortment of art creations, like Teressa’s prized Sorghum Plants.

Way Station

The way station is our third building to be constructed out of the American Legion logs. Historically, a way station is a stopping place while you’re on your way to somewhere else.  These rocking chairs and its proximity to the covered bridge make it a very popular way station indeed. 

Sorghum Mill

SORGHUM was once the "principal sweetnin" of the pioneers. When sorghum cooking time arrived, the farmers would take their cane to the mill owner and have it cooked down. A mule or horse would walk in circles to power the mill squeezing the juice out of the cane being handfed into the mill. The mill owner retained a percentage of the syrup for payment. Homestead syrup is cooked in a 10 foot copper pan over a wood fire, just as the pioneers would have done. To see about ordering sorghum, click here.

Robert’s Chapel

Across the footbridge, you'll find ROBERTS' CHAPEL, so named for the 2 men who donated the logs (Butch Roberts) and the stained glass windows (John Roberts). Rest here for a bit, looking out at the scenic natural view. Before you leave, look at the date carved into a log at the right of the large window - 1858, Nov. This building is believed to be the oldest on the Homestead.

 

Originally a two room house, this building has an interesting story. A woman was living there by herself while her men-folk were away in the Civil War. Yankees came through and took her only means of transportation, a little mare. Although she vigorously protested such action, it did no good. But she won in the end - in the middle of the night, she heard a commotion and went outside to find that her mare had escaped and come back home!

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Post Office/ Print Shop

The POST OFFICE / PRINT SHOP was originally a one-room house from the Bono area. It houses the 1850's operational George Washington Press along with the original Whitehall Post Offices, complete with mail from local citizens, some of who still remember their box combination from over 30 years ago!

The small SMOKEHOUSE comes from Pocahontas and was once a one-room house. There were only enough logs to construct this size building.

Smokehouse

The E. SLOAN HERITAGE SCHOOL, now a one-room schoolhouse, was also a two-room house. The logs for the building were donated by Betty Sloan. Notice the log benches on the front porch. They are made out of the only logs salvaged from a large structure atop Crowley's Ridge. The school is full of old school artifacts - enough in fact to have lessons for a day!

E. Sloan Heritage School

Broom Shop

Parker’s Barn

Parker’s Bridge

PARKER'S BRIDGE leads to the dirt road that was once the major route into Whitehall. The road meanders along the creek and is a branch off Old Military Road, which runs along Crowley's Ridge.

The Grist Mill

The Grist Mill has been relocated and rebuilt next to the parking area, in the barnyard, as it’s old location was prone to flooding. The GRISTMILL, originally from Whitehall, came from the old Foust Store. Again, farmers would bring their corn into "town" to be ground into meal, paying the mill owner a toll, or percentage, of their meal. Homestead regularly fires it up and still uses it to grind stone ground cornmeal today.

Bee Branch House

Recently completed, the Bee Branch House is known for its magnificent 2 story floor to ceiling fireplace. It has a nice little loft and downstairs seating and dining areas– come and check it out!

The Johnson House

The Johnson House is located across from the Way Station, on the way to the bridge.  It is a pleasant little cabin which was donated by a local teacher who came to Homestead on field trips.

The Foust House

The Foust house has been called many different things over the years- “The Two Story”, “The Mayor’s Cabin”, and “The Bed and Breakfast”.  It is all these things and more.  The Foust House was relocated from right across the Cross County line, and we sure are proud to have it! For inquiries about staying in the Foust House, click here.

Sarsaparilla Shed

Situated conveniently between the General Store and the Blacksmith shop, the Sarsaparilla Shed is a watering hole right out of the olden days.  Serving Sarsaparilla, Cream Soda, and as assortment of vintage candy, “the Shed” is a popular destination on a warm fall day.

The Bacon Hotel

On your way into the Homestead, be sure to notice the BACON HOTEL, the two story building next to the tracks on Homestead Rd. Built in 1912, this building is listed on the National Historic Register. It is an old railroad hotel located in the heart of Whitehall, next to where the old Railroad Depot once stood. Rooms went for the rate of $1.00 a day when it was operational.