Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fayetteville (Historical Square) #AtoZChallenge

It is "F" day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

In August of 2013, my spouse and I walked the streets of downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas for the first time in nearly 30 years.

The Square.  I worked off the square for perhaps a year and a half in the early 1980's, in two different office buildings.  We lived in Fayetteville for several months while completing our barn house in the country where we would "homestead" for four years.

It was an old fashioned square, the type you find in so many small towns in Arkansas, in Kansas, in other nearby states.  There were some old fashioned stores on the Fayetteville square.  And beautiful historic buildings.

There was the Old Post Office building in the middle of the square.  I found out, online, that it was built in 1911.and was the old Washington County courthouse.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  We ate there several times when it was a restaurant - I believe the restaurant closed about five years ago.

There was the Lewis Brothers building.  I remember the hardware store, full of old fashioned items.  I was last in the store around 1982, and it had also since closed.  I bought gifts for my spouse there, among them a Swiss Army knife he had for many years.  According to sources online, it was built in 1908 and is also on the National Historic Register.

In my younger days, I would not have paid any attention to the buildings and their history and their architectural style.  I was too busy with my interest in alternative energy and living off the land.  Now, I am much older, and much changed, and I wanted so much to wander the square and take pictures using a technology that was undreamed of when I last walked its sidewalks.


I remember the Farmers Market on the Square.  It must have been the first Farmers Market I ever shopped at.  What I didn't know was how new the Farmers Market was in the early 1980's, and how much a supporter of farmers markets I would become.  I also remember the horrible day a little boy caught his arm in a pea sheller (for southern peas - black eyed peas or similar) and his screams filled the square, while we bystanders ran to the scene to try to help.

So I researched for that trip we ended up making in 2013, and I found out, online, that many of those I had known there - my neighbors, and both the business owners I had worked for, had died.  Some had died only months before we made the trip. 

My wise friend, the one I call my guest photographer, told me "I really think God led you to find this stuff out. Please don't let it make you too sad---think of the full lives they led."

So, when I went back in 2013, I didn't know what I would find.  I just knew things had changed - a lot.

Fayetteville has more than doubled in size since I lived there.  But there was enough on the square I was still able to recognize.


The Old Bank of Fayetteville building, now beautifully restored.  It was added to the National Historical Register in 1994.

A corner view.

Mural in the Old Post Office Building

The farmers market is still there, better than ever.
 
Lobby

And so is the Old Post Office.  Sadly, the Country Outfitter store holding its grand opening in there as we toured the building closed less than two years later.

Around the Old Post office building, there is still a beautiful municipal garden.
Hard to believe, as you view this water feature, it was already in the 90's.  So hot and humid.  Some things never do change.

Change is part of life, but sometimes it is good to be able to come back to a place nearly 30 years later, and find some of the same beauty you remember from years ago.  In the Days of Our Lives, nothing remains static.  We can't always reclaim our younger years.  But, that day in August of 2013, we came close.

"F" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

15 comments:

  1. It's strange how things change while you feel the same. I'm glad there was enough there that was familiar to still make it special (and I love a good Farmers' Market!) Leanne @ cresting the hill

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    1. Yes, it was a bit different (well, a lot different) but we were happy we did it.

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  2. Arkansas is one of the few states I haven't visited. Thanks for sharing your photos and memories.

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    1. Arkansas has a lot of scenic beauty and the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville (NW Arkansas) is world class. Hopefully you can get there one day.

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  3. I have not ventured back to see the small town (city?) where I was ensconced for 13 years in some 20. This almost enticed the trip concept.

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    1. If you ever try going back, please blog about it. It would be an experience, for certain.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. They've done a good job preserving the buildings on the square. I was happy to see that.

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  5. Going back does open our eyes and gives us a moment to appreciate our simpler past.
    I went through Fayetteville in the early 80s it was charming.
    Im blogging from Fill the cracks and Moondustwriter's Blog. Happy A to Zing!

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  6. stopping by on A to Z. Interesting post and I'm glad that despite some dread your trip back proved enlightening. Always nice to see some familiar places and positive changes too. Good blog

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    1. It was, indeed, an interesting experience. Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. I recently moved back to GA from Arkansas. We loved traveling around and visiting all the little towns. Fayetteville is a big part of my life - NC (born there), AR (visited there, and lived closeby), GA (family there).

    Thanks for the memories!

    @dSavannahCreate from
    dSavannahRambles
    #AtoZChallenge2016 theme: dSavannah Defects

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    1. Small world - right now, I am in North Carolina visiting for several days. I think Fayetteville, AR will always be a part of me - I do want to go back at least one more time in my life.

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  8. It's always interesting to go back to someplace you haven't been in years. Places grow and change, just like people.

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