140+ years – Rogers Historical Museum helps town celebrate – The Free Weekly

BECCA MARTIN-BROWN
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Looking at a photo-filled wall in the main wing of the Rogers Historical Museum, Principal Serena Barnett gets a unique perspective on the past 140 years of the town she calls home. She can see the image of the first train that arrived at Rogers on May 10, 1881 – hence last week’s 140th anniversary celebration – and she can see the winner of the photo contest created to bring the past into the present .

Along the way, Barnett – who curated the exhibition titled “Rogers Through the Eye of the Lens: 140 Years of History in Photographs” – dabbed into some of his personal favourites:

A large Rogers Vinegar Workbench, the tools used to repair barrels and the collection of vinegar bottles are prime examples of the many jobs needed to turn apples into vinegar, says Rogers Founding Families curator Monte Harris. . exposure. “There are probably few people who know exactly how these particular tools were used.” (Courtesy of Photos/RHM)

• A World War I troop train leaving Rogers Frisco Station in 1917. “These men were among more than 500 troops sent overseas from Rogers and throughout Benton County,” she explains. “This photo touches my heart because sadly for many of these men this image represents the last time they were to see the house.”

• A photo showing a crowd standing outside the museum during the 4th of July bicentenary parade in 1976.

“The Rogers Historical Museum was established in 1975 as part of the Town of Rogers American Bicentennial Heritage Project to help preserve our local history,” says Barnett. “RHM opened on October 25, 1975, in its first location inside the old bank building on First Street. Over the past 46 years, RHM has worked hard to achieve its goal of preserving the history of Rogers and the surrounding area. As current director, I am proud to report that today the museum has grown to include over 60,000 collectibles and recently expanded its facilities to accommodate future growth with the added Newt Hailey Ford Dealership’s newly renovated buildings and Eversole Collections. RHM is also currently the only museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in northwest Arkansas.

• And an image of the Rogers Frisco Centennial Caboose built in 1946.

“It was donated to the town of Rogers by the Burlington Northern Railroad — which merged with the Frisco in 1980 — for Rogers’ centennial in 1981,” Barnett explains. “So many people who grew up here, myself included, have fond memories of seeing this caboose every time they visited downtown. Over the past 40 years it has become an iconic part of downtown Rogers. Today it sits on First and Cherry streets where the old Frisco Brick Depot once stood, a fitting tribute to Rogers’ railroad past.

A World War I troop train leaves Rogers Frisco Station in 1917 in the new exhibit ‘Rogers Through the Eye of the Lens: 140 Years of History in Photographs’. “These men were among more than 500 troops sent overseas from Rogers and throughout Benton County,” said Serena Barnett, RHM director and curator of the exhibit. “This photo touches my heart because sadly for many of these men this image represents the last time they were to see the house.” (Courtesy Photo/RHM)

It was the railroad that brought a community to what became Rogers and gave that community its name, says Monte Harris, the museum’s adult programs educator, who curated the other exhibit. anniversary, “Rogers Founding Families”, presented until November 6 in the Trammel Gallery at the Hailey building. The town was named for CW Rogers, manager of the Frisco Railroad, but Harris is quick to point out that there were founding families before there was a town.

“For example, between 1834 and 1842, Dennis Callahan farmed in the valley that today is under the waters of Lake Atalanta,” she lists. “In 1836, John B. Dickson was appointed postmaster for Benton County’s first post office, which would be in Osage Springs, which still flows through the area today known as Pinnacle Promenade.

“In the 1850s, Marshal and Rebecca ‘Becka’ Douglas settled on today’s Persimmon Street,” Harris continues. “Marshal was one of the first state legislators to represent Benton County. Upon Marshal’s death in 1873, his property was sold to the Horsely family who, along with neighbors including Benjamin Franklin Sikes, raised the $600 needed to purchase the railroad right-of-way and begin construction of the railroad. iron to Rogers.

A large Rogers Vinegar Workbench, the tools used to repair barrels and the collection of vinegar bottles are prime examples of the many jobs needed to turn apples into vinegar, says Rogers Founding Families curator Monte Harris. . exposure. “There are probably few people who know exactly how these particular tools were used.” (Courtesy of Photos/RHM)

With the railroad came growth “as masons and stonemasons, such as JB Myler and the Matthew Brothers, built one building after another,” Harris says. “The Oakley family planted some of the first orchards and later joined many other retailers like JW Bryant, the Wing Brothers, WR Cady, Charles Juhre, WR Felker, LE Karnes, the Stroud family and Oscar L. Gregory. The Applegate family opened a pharmacy and AD Callison operated the funeral business. Erwin Funk described the city’s progress in the newspaper as modern miracles such as electricity, indoor bathrooms and telephones became daily conveniences.

Of course, choosing who to include in the exhibit was difficult, Harris says, but “working chronologically with historical research helped create a storyline featuring real characters.” The biggest problem, she said, was “the few women who were recognized for their contributions in older versions of history.”

It therefore seems only fitting that the photograph selected to represent 2021 in the permanent exhibition “Rogers through the eye of the lens” was taken by a woman, Gabrielle Campbell.

“It features Campbell standing alone in the lobby of the Rogers Towne Cinema and social distancing stickers on the floor, a telltale sign of what current ‘normal’ looks like in our pandemic world today,” Barnett says. . “The photo was submitted with the following caption: ‘Movie Theaters in 2021: The New Reality of Going to the Movies. While movie screenings were limited, movie theaters rented out their big screens for game night. It was the lobby of the Rogers Towne Cinema just before we went inside.

Cover Photo As part of the Rogers Historical Museum’s ‘Rogers Founding Families’ exhibit, marking the community’s 140th anniversary, Dr. William J. Curry’s medical kit can be seen. Also on display are some of his special medical instruments and painkiller prescriptions that he used in emergency situations in an attempt to save the lives of victims of train crashes or deliveries during home visits. The exhibit continues through November 6 at the museum’s Hailey Building. (Courtesy Photo/RHM)

“Today, mobile phones allow everyone to always have a camera at hand”, thinks Barnett. “It made taking pictures easier than ever. Need proof? See how many photos you currently have in your camera roll. In fact, there have been more photos taken in recent years than in the entire history of photography.

But she is 140 years old all wrapped up.


FAQs – ‘Rogers Founding Families’

WHEN — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, until November 6

WHERE — Rogers Historical Museum Hailey Building, 313 S. Second St. in Rogers

“Rogers Through the Lens Eye”

WHEN — Part of the museum’s permanent collection

WHERE — Main wing of the museum in the Kathleen Dickerson classroom

No cost

INFO — 621-1154 or rogershistoricalmuseum.org


The entrance to the ‘Rogers Founding Families’ exhibit in the Hailey Building quotes HM Butler, editor of the Rogers Democrat in 1896. (Courtesy Photo/RHM)

for your informationFounders Day

The Rogers Historical Museum will help the town celebrate Founders Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 5. Events in and around the museum will include a quilt show sponsored by the Northwest Arkansas Modern Quilt Guild; a special guided tour of Hawkins House, “Quilts in Victorian Homes”; farm animals; and historic artisans demonstrating weaving, smocking, and woodcarving.

Families will also have the opportunity to create their own family time capsule to take home and preserve today’s memories for the future. Food trucks will offer a variety of lunch options for purchase.

Other downtown events include Arkansas & Missouri Railroad-sponsored train rides, a photo scavenger hunt, and sidewalk sales. Go Downtown Rogers merchants will also be offering free horse-drawn wagon rides around downtown. The Rogers 140th Anniversary Time Capsule Ceremony will take place on the Butterfield Stage at 2 p.m., and the Butterfield Stage 2021 concert series will begin at 5 p.m. with performances by the bands Honeyjack and Jukeboxx.

INFO—621-1154

Among the most recent photos marking significant events on a Rogers town timeline is of the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion, which opened in Rogers in 2014. (Photo courtesy RHM)


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