Step Back In Time

Step Back In Time

Har-Ber Village has memories to share


The name Harvey Jones was once synonymous with Springdale.

Jones was the founder of Jones Truck Lines, by 1980 the largest privately owned and operated truck line in the United States. He was also the guiding force behind the city’s first hospital, served on the school board for 28 years, was president of the Chamber of Commerce and, along with wife Bernice Young Jones, created the Jones Foundation to offer nursing scholarships to Springdale students.

Among his legacies, the Jones Center in Springdale continues to offer recreational opportunities to the community, and a museum in Grove, Okla., keeps his collections of antiques and memorabilia accessible to the public.

“Har-Ber Village was founded by Harvey and Bernice Jones in 1968,” explains the museum’s executive director, Amelia Chamberlain. “They never planned on a museum like Har-Ber Village; it just happened. The first building was the chapel — built for Bernice. Next was a log cabin home for the ‘minister,’ a schoolhouse for his kids, and so on. By the middle 1980s, most of the buildings of the museum had been constructed.

“Many items from Harvey and Bernice’s personal collections are on display at Har-Ber Village,” Chamberlain goes on, “from their family pictures, quilts and clothing to personal collections of glassware, pottery, farm equipment, etc. Many of the log cabins and items displayed in the exhibits inside the cabins are also from Northwest Arkansas. Harvey would find abandoned cabins, contact owners, and bring the cabins to Har-Ber Village to be restored. The contents from several Arkansas businesses were purchased and put on display at the museum, too, including a drugstore, a bank and a print shop.”

Nowadays, paths meander along the shore of Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees to more than 100 exhibits. Visitors can see a chuckwagon, a prairie schooner and two stagecoaches; hay baling and threshing machines; military memorabilia from the Revolutionary War through Desert Storm; dolls, dolls and more dolls from those with china heads to Kewpies to Shirley Temple dolls, Cabbage Patch dolls and American Girl dolls; and glassware from Frankhoma pottery — made in Norman, Okla. — to Depression glass, Carnival glass, cut glass, Jewel Tea and Belleek.

Among the exhibits also tied to Northwest Arkansas is the pharmacy, which includes the soda fountain and prescription case from the Mooney-Barker Drug Store in Pettigrew. In 1916, Dr. W.H. Mooney and his son-in-law, A.P. Barker, bought a drug store in the thriving community then called “the hardwood capital of the world” and added on an office for medical consultations. Helen Mooney Barker, A.P.’s wife, usually tended the soda fountain. The general store portion of the business remained open until 1980, and fixtures from the drug store were donated to Har-Ber Village, while a large collection of other items went to the Shiloh Museum in Springdale.

Of course, no museum can rest on its laurels, and Har-Ber Village is constantly evolving to attract visitors. Among recent additions are a renovated Nature Trail along the lake and the Har-Ber Village Mining Co., which allows guests to “pan” for minerals, gemstones, arrowheads and fossils.

“Each Saturday throughout the 2019 season, a special activity will be offered to supplement the museum experience,” Chamberlain adds. “[And] on Sept. 28 and Oct. 26, Har-Ber Village will offer two of its popular annual special events. In September, visitors will be able to experience what life was like as a pioneer as they tour a variety of stations through the museum. In October, the focus will be on the Cherokee culture.

“Har-Ber Village board and staff hope that in five years we will be closer to being financially self-sustaining and will have expanded the variety of experiences we offer our visitors.”



Har-Ber Village

WHEN — 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through the first Saturday in November; closed Tuesday and Wednesday

WHERE — Grove, Okla.

COST — $5-$10


BONUS — Visitors can eat breakfast and/or lunch at the Cafe at Har-Ber Village, open 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Categories: Family Friendly