Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Newton County Home Tour"

One of my favorite October expeditions for the last several years has been the Newton County Tour of Homes that is conducted as a fundraiser for the Newton County Single Parent Scholarship Fund. This fundraiser started eleven years ago as a way to raise money to help single parent residents of this small rural county in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Many of the homes I have visited over the years have been the secluded residences of well-known people, who have chosen to live a more relaxed life in the country. There are usually five or six homes on the tour and each one will make you be in awe of the surrounding beauty. For that reason, I won't give away the GPS locations of these hideaways, rather I will suggest that you put this on your calendar for 2009 (call 870-391-3129 or email for next year's dates) and discover for yourself why folks keep choosing this area for their home. So instead of showing photographs of the tour homes for this blog entry, take a look at the historic Newton County Jail. It was built in 1903 by the Heilman Construction Company in the Italianate style, out of native stone. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. The Newton County Jail has an official capacity of four inmates, and there have been hopes for many years of a "new and improved" structure to house prisoners. If you travel much, you probably have encountered those very pricey hotels whose only claim to fame is that they are on the National Register of Historic Places----so here is an opportunity to add a "National Register of Historic Place" stamp to your travel passport resume, without having to dip into your pocketbook! ( But keep in mind, a bed in the historic jail cannot be guaranteed, because if there are several lawbreakers at one time, temporary facilities have to be set up elsewhere.) Miles of smiles! Tricia Turner
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