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Constructed in the early years of the town of Farmington, the old General Store still stands as a testament to the early years of the town. It was in operation from the 1860s to 1974, though it changed owners and names several times. At one time the center of trade in the area, the building fell into disrepair after it closed. It is now in possession of Pedal Pops and is the home of their Farmington location.

W. E. Guilliams General Store and it's owner, Mr. Guilliams (circa 1916)


The Farmington Frisco Freight Line station, where the strawberries would be shipped off around the state.

Transport, Train station, Building, House

The Farmington general store was founded between the years 1860 and 1870, when the rest of the town of Farmington was plotted out by its founder, William Engles. Though no official date of the store's opening is known, it is discussed in the 1889 edition of Goodspeed's History of Washington County,

In Goodspeed's History of Washington County, the general store is said to have been owned and operated by one "C. C. Conner." Mr. Conner appears again in this text as the owner and operator of the town's flour mill. Until the construction of post office in the adjacent lot in 1868, it was the general store that served as the town's access to mail and news of the outside world.

One of the main draws to the general store at this time were the strawberries. Farmington was renowned for its strawberry harvests, and during the harvest season, many people would travel to town from the area to help reap the harvest. Helpers would be given slips of paper by farmers known as "strawberry tickets" at a rate of one per quart of strawberries picked. These tickets could be redeemed as store credit at the general store, or for just a handful of pennies if redeemed for cash. The largest recorded strawberry harvest in Farmington produced 153 train cars full of strawberries, which were then shipped across the state on the Ozark and Cherokee Central Freight Line.

In the late 1880s, the store exchanged hands and became the W. E. Guilliams General Store. Not much is known about it during this time period, but a photograph is available, circa 1916. Soon after, it received a series of renovations and became known as the McNeal Store. This store sold most anything a Farmington resident could want, and was one of the largest stores in the area at that time. Since it most often dealt with farmers, the store operated mostly on credit. By 1919, the store grossed over $100 a day in sales. Sales began to fall during the Depression era, but began to rise again after. The building was abandoned in 1974 after the McNeal store closed, but remained intact.

In 2019, the building was purchased and renovated by Pedal Pops, a Fayetteville-based frozen fruit bar company. They still own and operate it to this day.

History of Washington County. Nashville, Tenneessee. Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889.

Gatewood, Willard B.. The Prairie Grove Valley and its Communities, Part One. Flashback, ser. 2003, vol. Winter.

Gatewood, Willard B.. The Prairie Grove Valley and its Communities, Part Two. Flashback, ser. 2003, vol. Spring.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Shiloh Museum of Ozark History/Janell Bailey Collection (S-2003-2-802)

Arkansas Boston Mountains Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society/Mike Condren, photographer