Shiloh Museum ‘House Hunt’ encourages visits to area museums

Shiloh Museum ‘House Hunt’ encourages visits to area museums

Many places in Northwest Arkansas where you see a museum, you also see someone’s home — and with the exhibit “Ozark Home, Beyond the Frame,” open this summer at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, director Angie Albright got to thinking.

Why not, Albright wondered, call attention to those former residences at neighboring museums?

“Our education staff came up with a number of program ideas for our Shiloh Summer Series related to our exhibit ‘Ozark Home,’” Albright says. “We serve six counties, and [the Historic House Hunt] seemed like a good way to reach people further out from just our immediate area.

“We just asked historic houses that were already museums [to participate] because they are used to traffic,” she elaborates. “We hoped it would help increase attendance at our other area museums that we work with frequently.”

On the grounds of the Shiloh Museum are two former homes, the Searcy House and the Ritter-McDonald Log Cabin.

According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, “the original three-room [Searcy House or Smith-Searcy House] was built in 1871 for the Rev. Archibald Smith, minister of Shiloh Church. The house belonged to the Searcy family starting in 1884, and Lockwood Searcy and his wife, Annabel Searcy, lived in the home until it was bequeathed to the Shiloh Museum in 1981.” It is not currently open for tours.

Just down the hill, “the Ritter-McDonald Log Cabin was most likely constructed in 1854,” Albright says. “It originally stood near Elm Springs, and it was located on the road between Pea Ridge and Fayetteville that soldiers traveled during the Civil War. It was moved to the Shiloh grounds in the 1970s. It is nearing completion of a restoration, so it is once again accessible to the public.

“The cabin is just one room but later was added onto so it was ‘hidden’ under a larger house,” Albright explains. “The Ritter family, well known in Springdale, particularly Roy Ritter, founder of AQ Chicken and Springdale mayor, owned the cabin for much of its life. We use the cabin for programs for children to teach about life in the pioneer era of the Ozarks.”

Also included in the House Hunt are:

Headquarters House Museum, 118 E. Dickson St., Fayetteville;

Historic Cane Hill Museum, 14389 Arkansas 45, Cane Hill;

Prairie Grove Heritage Museum, 311 E. Buchanan St., Prairie Grove;

Rogers Historical Museum, 313 S. Second St., Rogers;

Eureka Springs Historical Museum, 95 S. Main St., Eureka Springs; and

Tontitown Historical Museum, 251 E. Henri de Tonti Blvd., Tontitown.

While the houses are always viewable from the outside, there’s also a portion of the Historic House Hunt that’s a contest. While visiting any of the participating museums, get your House Hunt card stamped and bring it to Shiloh Museum. If your card has two stamps, you will win a prize. If it contains all seven stamps, you will also be eligible for a grand prize. Albright says expect stickers, notebooks and books as prized — “the kinds of things you see in our store.”



Shiloh Museum of Ozark History

WHEN — 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday

WHERE — 118 W. Johnson Ave. in Springdale

COST — Free

INFO — 750-8165 or



‘Ozark Home’

Summer Programs

“Ozark Home, Beyond the Frame,” an exhibit of contemporary art and items of home life from a wide array of Northwest Arkansas artists curated by Samantha Sigmon and Cory Perry, remains on display at the Shiloh Museum through 2023. Programs related to the exhibit include:

June 19 — Toys and Chores in an Ozark Home, noon to 2 p.m., Huntsville Public Library.

July 1 — Toys and Chores in an Ozark Home, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Kingston Community Library.

July 22 — House Concert as part of the Live in America yard art party, 4 to 6 p.m., at the Carra Martinez and Justin Favela house at 506 Holcomb St. in Springdale.

July 29 — Marshallese weaving, an interactive workshop, 10 a.m. to noon, on the Shiloh Museum grounds.

Aug. 5 — Samplers and Embroidery Workshop with the Bella Vista Chapter of the Embroiders’ Guild of America, 10 a.m.-noon, at the museum.

Aug. 29 — Arkansas Archeological Survey presentation on the food of the first people of the Ozarks, 6:30 p.m., at the survey’s office at 2475 N. Hatch Ave. in Fayetteville.


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