Whether it’s coins, cards, stamps, or magazines, a lot of people enjoy collecting items to see how time and age compare what’s been preserved to what’s modern. The same goes with postcards, which are almost like photographs in that they’re a part of a moment of a bygone era. These vintage Arkansas postcards give an interesting glimpse into the past of the Natural State.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
55. Gordon Adkins: This restaurant was once located in Little Rock.
The former Gordon Adkins restaurant could be found on 10th and Broadway in the capital city.
54. Blue Spring Farm: This spring and farmland were located in Carroll County, Arkansas.
Carroll County is located in the northwest part of Arkansas.
53. Army Navy Hospital: In 1887, the Army and Navy Hospital, the first combined general hospital treating patients from both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy, opened in downtown Hot Springs. It was the first hospital of its kind in the nation.
The Army Navy Hospital is now known as the Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center.
52. Garrison Avenue: This area of downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas remains an important and historic part of the town.
Garrison Avenue is the cultural heart and center of downtown Fort Smith.
51. Hotel Mountainaire: This was one of many lodging areas in the Spa City during its initial tourist boom.
Built in 1947, this hotel remains one of the finest examples of Art Moderne architecture in the area and perhaps even in the state.
50. Eastman Hotel: Built in 1890, the elegant, 500-room Eastman Hotel was a hub for the baseball community in the early 20th century.
Here Babe Ruth flipped a coin to settle his 1921 salary dispute with the Yankees. In 1925, Walter Johnson received a hero’s welcome upon returning to town after his World Series triumph and awed guests on the veranda by pitching on the hotel lawn.
49. Bane Motor Company: This establishment was located in Texarkana, Arkansas. The estimated date of the postcard is 1930s-1940s.
The Bane Motor Company was located on 5th and Hazel streets in Texarkana.
48. Fountain Lake Park Hotel: This postcard was taken circa 1930-1935 in Fouke, Arkansas.
Fouke, Arkansas is located in the southwestern tip of the state, bordering Texas.
47. Crossett High School: This vintage postcard of Crossett High School might be of interest of students who attend the school today.
Crossett High School is a comprehensive public high school in Crossett, Arkansas. It is one of two public high schools located in Ashley County, and the sole high school administered by the Crossett School District.
46. Fountain Lake: This postcard is from Fountain Lake in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Fountain Lake is located in Hot Springs National Park.
45. Highway 7: Taken near Lake Hamilton, Highway 7 is known for its spectacular scenic views.
As Arkansas's longest state highway, Highway 7's route runs 296 miles from Louisiana Highway 558 at the Louisiana state line north to Bull Shoals Lake at Diamond City near the Missouri state line.
44. The Elberta: This old-style theater was located in Nashville, Arkansas.
Nashville, Arkansas is located in Howard County, near the southeast corner of the state.
43. The Horatio: This postcard of the aptly-named theater was based in Horatio, Arkansas.
Located in Sevier County, Arkansas, Horatio is in the southeast portion of the state.
42. Rose Inn and Lodge: In the 1950s The Rose Inn was much in demand by visitors of all sorts for many years.
The Rose Inn was located in Crossett, Arkansas, the site where Crossett's Centennial Park is now located.
41. Carpenter Dam: Carpenter Dam is the second of three dams constructed along the Ouachita River in the vicinity of Hot Springs.
Carpenter Dam was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1992, in recognition of its role in the growth and development of Hot Springs.
40. Albert Pike Memorial Temple: The Albert Pike Memorial Temple is located at 700–724 Scott Street in Little Rock, Arkansas. On November 13, 1986, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural and historical significance.
The temple is named for Albert Pike, a prominent figure in the history of Arkansas, who played a major role in the establishment of Freemasonry in the state.
39. Fountain Lake Swimming Pool: Located in Hot Springs, Fountain Lake was a popular spot for tourists to send postcards.
Many locations across Hot Springs were attractions for visitors around the nation.
38. Robinson Memorial Auditorium: Currently again in the process of renovation, this downtown Little Rock landmark is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The center is named for Joseph Taylor Robinson, a powerful former U.S. Senator and Congressman and Arkansas governor, and is one of several locations and facilities that bear his name.
37. Lake Catherine: Lake Catherine was created in a virtual wilderness between Hot Springs and Malvern when the Arkansas Power and Light Co. (now Entergy Corp.) completed Remmel Dam in 1924 to generate electricity.
Lake Catherine is located just minutes south of Hot Springs, Arkansas's most popular tourist destination.
36. Marble Falls: Some of the most scenic rivers and majestic lakes in America are still here to enjoy in Marble Falls along Highway 7.
Trout floats on the White, Little Red and Spring Rivers, plus bass and panfish outings on the lakes and smaller streams, make for world-class fishing action.
35. Lake Fort Smith: This scenic spot for a postcard is still nestled in a scenic valley of the Boston Mountain Range of the Ozark Mountains.
From its original location, Lake Fort Smith State Park was relocated to this site on the lake's western side due to the enlarging of Lake Fort Smith and Lake Shepherd Springs into a single reservoir to provide additional water storage for the future needs of the municipal water supply serving Fort Smith, Arkansas.
34. Remmel Dam: This postcard-perfect dam remains situated on the Ouachita River at Jones Mills. It was constructed in 1924 by Arkansas Power and Light (now Entergy) in response to the growing demand for electrical power in southern Arkansas and surrounding states.
The dam impounds Lake Catherine and, together with Carpenter Dam in Hot Springs, Arkansas, provides hydroelectric power for the southern part of the state.
33. Lake Hamilton: This postcard-perfect scene was created in 1932 when the Arkansas Power and Light Co. completed Carpenter Dam on the Ouachita River to generate electricity.
Today, the 7,460-acre impoundment is one of Arkansas's most popular recreational and residential lakes. Much of it is ringed with condominiums, resorts, motels, restaurants and private homes.
32. Hot Springs Sanitarium: Used as medical bath facilities to cure specific ailments, this structure was photographed circa 1930-1945.
The belief at the time was held that bathing in warm mineral waters could cure a host of mental and physical ailments.
31. The Majestic Hotel and Bath House: The Majestic Hotel was one of the first brick buildings in Hot Springs, featuring 150 rooms, 50 of those with private baths. The historic luxury hotel officially closed in 2006.
Radio Station, KTHS, owned a tower atop the Majestic Hotel and featured wonderful music including that of the “Southerners Orchestra”, complete with a banjo picker. The stations call letters stood for, “Kome To Hot Springs”.
30. Buffalo River: Still a popular destination for Arkansans and travelers from everywhere, this is postcard proof that the Buffalo has always been beautiful.
The Buffalo River remains one of the very few wholly unpolluted and green locations in the United States.
29. The Scott: This ritzy postcard, circa 1930s-40s, was taken in Waldron, Arkansas.
Waldron, Arkansas is located in Scott County on the western end of the state.
28. Lake Norfork: This postcard was taken at Panther Bay Landing at Lake Norfork.
Lake Norfork is located in northern Arkansas southeast of Mountain Home
27. The Hoo Hoo: This quirky-named theater was located in Gurdon, Arkansas.
Gurdon is a town in Clark County, Arkansas toward the southwest part of the state.
26. Bella Vista: This town in Benton County, Arkansas was once well known as a summer resort town for tourists.
Bella Vista has seven lakes. These lakes are not "public" in that only members of the community or their guests are permitted to use them. Lake Ann, Lake Windsor, and Lake Loch Lomond are the largest all-sports lakes in the town. Lake Avalon, Lake Norwood, and Lake Rayburn are primarily fishing lakes with "no wake" restrictions.
25. Central Court: This fine example of "tourist courts" was taken as a postcard in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Tourist camps and courts were a common form of lodging for travelers in the United States from the 1930s to the 1960s. The terms “tourist camp” and “tourist court” were used to describe both an individual cabin or room rented for the night and the business as a whole.
24. Inspiration Point: Always open to the sky, fresh air, sun, stars and you, Inspiration Point is a panoramic view still located just 5 scenic miles west of Eureka Springs on Highway 62.
This favorite overlook sits on a cliff 550 steep feet above the twisting White River and its green valley, with an exceptionally broad expanse of sky above.
23. Dallas Theater: This postcard is of a former theater in Fordyce, Arkansas.
Fordyce is located in Dallas County, Arkansas in the southern half of the state.
22. The Logan: This postcard is of a former theater in Paris, Arkansas.
Paris, Arkansas is located in Logan County, toward the northwestern part of the state.
21. Gregory Beaumont Equipment Company: This postcard was taken of a Newport, Arkansas-based equipment company.
Newport, Arkansas is located on the White River, 85 miles east of Little Rock in Jackson County.
20. Missouri Pacific Depot: This depot opened in 1921 and is also referred to as "Union Station".
The station is still in service and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
19. Fountain Lake: One more postcard from this picturesque Hot Springs location. Tourists continue to thoroughly enjoy themselves throughout the Spa City.
Fountain Lake is also a town in Garland County, however it is not near the tourist destinations seen in the postcards.
18: Highway 62: US Highway 62 passes through several cities and towns in Arkansas, including Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Harrison, Mountain Home, Pocahontas, and Piggott.
US 62 runs concurrent with several highways in Arkansas including Interstate 49 and U.S. Route 71 between Fayetteville and Bentonville, U.S. Route 412 through much of the state, U.S. Route 65 in the Harrison area, and with U.S. Route 63 and U.S. Route 67 in northeast Arkansas.
17: The Majestic Hotel: This second postcard of the Majestic in Hot Springs shows the luxury hotel in another side of its glory.
Despite various attempts to restore or save the Majestic, the abandoned lodge caught fire and was destroyed in 2014.
16. Little Rock Public Library: This library was opened on February 1, 1910, at West 7th Street and South Louisiana Street in downtown Little Rock.
The first Little Rock Public Library was one of four Carnegie Libraries in Arkansas. The Carnegie Corporation of New York made a grant of $50,000 in 1906, but increased the grant to $88,100 in 1907.
15. Ole King Cole Restaurant: Formerly located on Broadway in Little Rock, this restaurant is a reminder of days gone by in the capital city.
Many old-school natives of Little Rock list this eatery among their favorites they wish would make a return.
14. Dunbar High School: Things don't look very different about this historic building in 2015, but the student population has changed since this postcard was purchased.
Still an active part of the Little Rock School District, Dunbar now serves as a middle school and magnet school for students across Pulaski County, Arkansas.
13. Little Rock Zoo: Still a popular destination today, the Little Rock Zoo has been a staple of the capital city since 1926.
The Little Rock Zoo is home to more than 725 animals representing over 200 species, and covers an area of 33 acres.
12. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences: In 1951, Governor Sid McMath used funds from a new cigarette tax to secure $7.4 million for a new University Hospital on a 26-acre site on West Markham Street in what was then the outskirts of Little Rock. The University of Arkansas Medical Center moved into the new hospital in 1956. Air conditioning came to patients’ rooms 10 years later.
In early 2009, UAMS opened a new hospital, a 540,000-square-foot facility with 234 adult beds and 60 neonatal beds.
11. Parkview Tourist Court: This tourist court in Corning, Arkansas is another example of the popular "tourist court" boom among travelers of the 1950s and 60s.
The terms “tourist camp” and “tourist court” were used to describe both an individual cabin or room rented for the night and the business as a whole. In their early days, they typically consisted of stand-alone structures that looked and functioned like small houses, with as few as four units to rent. Those built during and after World War II were increasingly likely to be under a single roof in the form recognizable today as motels.
10. Little Rock Boys' Club: Formerly known as the Pulaski County Boys Club, this organization changed its name after the formation of the North Little Rock Boys' Club.
With the growth of Pulaski County throughout the years, additional Clubs were formed to serve the needs of the children of the community. Four Clubs were established in Little Rock and three in North Little Rock.
9. Lake Leatherwood: The dam and several structures at Lake Leatherwood park in Eureka Springs were built in the early 1940s by the WPA and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The lake is formed by one of the largest hand-cut native limestone dams in the country.
8. Future Farmers of America Camp Couchdale: The original rustic chapter house at this FFA camp was dedicated in 1933.
Today more than one million young people have spent one or more weeks at Couchdale enjoying the recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, boxing, wrestling, pillow fighting, and other sports
7. Camark Pottery Shop: Founded in 1926, Camden Art Tile and Pottery Company was the third and last producer of art pottery in Arkansas. By the end of its first year, its name had changed to Camark to include both the city of Camden and the state of Arkansas.
Camark Pottery eventually become one of Camden’s best-known industries and was known nationwide.
6. Oaklawn: The Spa City's beloved Oaklawn Park officially opened on February 24, 1905. More than 3,000 people attended as a holiday had been declared in Hot Springs. During these early years the track only ran six races a day, similar to British cards. Political problems in the state forced the closure of Oaklawn in 1907. During this time of closure, the track was sold to Louis Cella as the original business partners had both died. The track reopened in 1916 under the auspices of Business Men's League of Hot Springs.
In the 1930s, the track and "Spa" combined attracted many horse racing fans. In 1935, Oaklawn increased purses to become competitive with the best tracks across the country. The first Arkansas Derby was run in 1936 for a purse of $5,000.
5. Boyle Park: The land for Boyle Park was donated to the City of Little Rock in 1929 by Dr. John F. Boyle. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 for the 8 known intact examples of Civilian Conservation Corps rustic architecture.
The park is mostly unimproved woodland. It contains a small wildlife pond, a playground, open meadows, woods, and numerous hiking and biking trails. Rock Creek flows through the park.
4. Little Rock City Hall and Fire Department: Little Rock City Hall is located on the northwestern corner of West Markham and Broadway in Little Rock. Designed by noted architect Charles L. Thompson, it has been the seat of government for the state’s largest municipality since 1908.
On December 28, 1905, the Little Rock City Council approved $150,000 to build the current Little Rock City Hall. Work on the new city hall started on November 4, 1906, and a grand-opening celebration for the three-story building featuring decorative stone was held on April 15, 1908.
3. Fair Park Swimming Pool: Now known and loved as War Memorial Pool, this location originally known as J. Curran Conway Pool was completed and opened in 1941.
The War Memorial Complex now houses the pool which features an indoor pool and a reduced-size outdoor pool.
2. Museum of Fine Arts: Now known as the Arkansas Arts Center, this cultural heart of the capital city is still located in MacArthur Park.
The original building was constructed in 1937 and has been upgraded and modernized vastly since its first days of operation.
1. The Arlington Hotel: This sprawling twin-towered 1924 landmark remains a brief 15-minute walk past Bath House Row to Downtown Hot Springs.
The historic Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa is the largest hotel in Arkansas.
Since 1875 The Arlington has been hosting guests as one of the South's premiere resorts.
These glimpses into the past of the Natural State are an interesting time machine for historians and curious knowledge seekers today. It’s always good to keep a little history behind so you know where you came from!