Many of the quiet, small towns that we pass through on our road trips around this great country don’t really make the news that often. And when they do, it’s hardly ever good news at all; rather, it’s usually big and disastrous. Take the town of Plumerville, Arkansas, for example.
The Wild, Wild Mid-West
The town of Plumerville in Conway County, Arkansas, sits on the southern edge of I-40 with U.S. Route 64 running nearly parallel to the interstate running through the center of town.
Originally known as Plummer’s Station, the town got its start as a stagecoach stop for mail delivery on the Butterfield Overland Mail’s Fort Smith to Memphis branch in 1858. It kept the name Plummer’s Station when the railroad came through in 1873 and the city started to see itself grow into the area’s leading business, agricultural, and political center.
In 1880, the city changed its name to Plumerville and got itself incorporated, all the while continuing to grow; however, by 1889, it had unfortunately become known as a town full of political unrest and violence. In fact, that very same year, former Arkansas governor Powell Clayton’s brother, John Middleton Clayton, was shot and killed at a Plumerville rooming house after challenging the election results in his run for Congress.
Despite its reputation, however, Plumerville continued to thrive, so much in fact, that the town’s bank was robbed three times during the early 20th century. Nevertheless, Plumerville soon had its own fire department, water system, and even gas-lit lamps lining the town’s streets. This prosperity wouldn’t last much longer, however.
Many factors led to Plumerville’s decline: two floods (one in 1927 and one in 1937), the end of passenger train services in the area, the Great Depression and a fire in 1987 that completely destroyed the city’s downtown – save the county jail – were just a few tragedies that the town never really quite recovered from enough to return to its old glory days.
However, all of Plumerville’s bad news seems to have changed for the better in early March of this year.
Stuckey’s Building to Stick Around for Some Time
On March 2, 2022, Arkansas Heritage announced that a former Stuckey’s building that sits along the northeast end of the I-40/State Route 92 intersection in Plumerville was added to the National Park Services’ National Register of Historic Places. The building was chosen not only for its architectural integrity, but also because of Stuckey’s role in the history of highway culture.
The building itself is what is known as Stuckey’s second building design that first started appearing along American roadsides around 1970. Like it’s predecessor, these stores featured a symmetrical design, though the 2nd designer had much more glass that not only wrapped around the sides of the store, but also went from floor to ceiling. Additionally, they included a higher Polynesian-inspired swooping roofline with a gable on each end of the building that was sure to attract passing roadtrippers and family vacationers. These new tiki-style roofs did, however, retain the original teal color of the previous roofs that Stuckey’s was famous for since the first building of the first design was built.
Inside, the open cathedral ceiling was made of exposed Canadian wood, giving the stores a more spacious, airy and open feel. Like the first design, the second design also featured a living quarters attached to the back of the store for the store managers and their families.
Unfortunately, the building no longer houses a Stuckey’s store full of pecan log rolls and kitschy state souvenirs, though it’s still a convenience store that you can still visit to check out the iconic architecture that says no doubt this was a Stuckey’s back in the day.
As CEO Stephanie Stuckey said, “…Stuckey’s are part of our cultural DNA and deserve to be protected.” And because this one is now in the National Register of Historic Places, this Stuckey’s building will be protected for years to come – and that’s definitely good news for Plumerville and Stuckey’s.
Remember when you would take summer vacations with your family and dad would pull into a Stuckey’s along the way? Remember how he would let you pick out whatever you wanted and you felt the whole store was yours to choose from?
Well, with this Sunday being Father’s Day, why not return the favor and take dear old Dad on a weekend road trip to the nearest Stuckey’s. Let him choose what he wants from our wide variety fine pecan candies like our world famous Stuckey’s pecan log rolls or pecan pralines. Our wide selection of branded t-shirts, trucker hats, and hoodies also make great Father’s day gifts as well.
For all this and more, visit our website at stuckeys.com and place your order with Stuckey’s today. (Of course, if you do order online you won’t receive Dad’s gifts by Father’s Day; however, we’re sure that once he sinks his teeth into one of our delicious pecan treats, he’ll be quick to forgive and forget.
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!