Corning, Arkansas History Tour
This tour contains twelve historic buildings/sites in Corning, Arkansas and covers topics such as pre-European civilizations, prominent pioneers, government, religion, Ku Klux Klan terrorism, and education.
The Oliver House is a iconic late-Victorian house on NW First street along the railroad. This is one of the few pioneer mansions left from the early days of Corning. The home was built in the 1880 and was remodeled in the early twentieth century. Its associations with a prominent business family in Corning earns its spot on this list.
Hop Alley has been a well loved landmark in Corning since its inception on November 21, 1906. The alley which runs between First and Second Streets was named after prominent Corning attorney and judge, Douglas Hopson. It has been home to many businesses over the years and has been walked through hundreds of thousands of times.
The J.W. Black Lumber Company got its start by J.W. Black in 1894 and was in operation for 123 years up until their closer was announced in 2018. Although the lumber mill has closed, the J.W. Black Lumber Company still exist and they manage Black's Building Center in downtown Corning.
The remnants of a pre-European society can be found on the corner of First and Pine Street. For many years a Indian mound sat here until it was excavated of all of its contents in the early 20th century to construct a new home there on top of the mound.
The intersection of SW Second Street and Lucien Avenue is the site of the darker side of Corning's history. This was the site where Klansman Luther Bent Taylor and Lafayette Melton met their fate in 1882 and 1885. The hanging of these two men marked the end of Ku Klux Klan terrorism in Corning.
The Clay County Courthouse in Corning is the seat of justice for the Western District of Clay County. The history of the court in Clay County has been steeped in debate about where its location should be. After years of moving back and forth between towns the county was divided into two districts.
The Sheeks House is a colonial/Greek revival wood-framed structure located on the court square in Corning, Arkansas. The house is a 2.5 story building constructed in 1872 by Ephraim Foster Brown who was a prominent attorney in Arkansas. Mr. Brown sold the house to E.V. Sheeks in 1878. In 1908 the house was heavily remodeled. This remodel added a grand portico at the front of the house with two grand columns as well as a two-story addition to the back of the house. Other than these renovations in 1908 the house has been unaltered since. The Sheeks House was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1975.
The First Baptist Church has been a notable site of worship on the corner of West Third and Olive since its founding in April 30, 1887 by the Rev. A.S. Hall. This building is defined by the Tudor architecture and its huge Gothic windows that surround the walls of the sanctuary.
This schoolhouse has served students of Corning for many years. Originally constructed to serve as the the city's high school, it was later reused as a elementary school for grades three through six after a new high school campus was built. Due to low attendance this campus was consolidated and students were sent to the other two campuses in town.
The Dr. N.J. Latimer office is a example a what a early commercial building in downtown Corning looked like. Being built in 1895, this building housed Dr. N.J. Latimer's office on the first floor and Mayor Tom Barker's office on the second. The façade is made of cast-iron and is painted green. The top trim of the structure has a unique brick trim design.
The W.D. Polk Block is one of the earliest set of brick buildings to be constructed in Corning. The first building to be constructed in this block would be used as a bank. The block would eventually expand all the way from Pine Street to Vine Street with a new bank being built on the Vine Street corner in 1920.
The Corning Bank & Trust Company building was built in 1920. It served the city of Corning for many years as a bank. The building is currently being used by the Agape Mission and the Current-Gaines Baptist Association. The exterior of the main building still contains the original features although the windows have been bricked in over the years.