We invite you to have “More Fun Per Gallon” in Arkansas this year. Each day we will be blogging on different Arkansas destinations which can be reached on one tank of gas or less. This is basically every corner of The Natural State. We hope these suggestions help you in planning a trip to remember.
Today’s Trip: Tyronza and Marion
In 1934, a movement of change was born in the small Arkansas Delta town of Tyronza. Eighteen tenant farmers, both black and white, met and decided to confront the widespread unethical practices of landowners. At that meeting, in a building that housed a dry cleaning service and a gas station, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union was formed. The Southern Tenant Farmers Union broke racial barriers throughout its existence, most notably the inclusion of women and blacks in the organization and administration of the union. Today, that building that housed H.L. Mitchell’s dry cleaner and the service station owned by Clay East, two of the original organizers of the Union, is home to the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, an Arkansas State University Delta Heritage site. The museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and includes exhibits focusing on the story of tenant farming and sharecropping and the movement to remove abuses from the widely used system. I can tell you that whenever I take writers or visitors to the STFM, they are amazed. The museum truly gives guests a deeper understanding of the plight tenant farmers and sharecroppers faced. It’s definitely worth the trip, regardless of where you are. You can visit the museum’s website at http://stfu.astate.edu.
If you love fresh veggies, fruits, herbs and flowers, you’re definitely going to want to check out Whitton Farms! Located five miles northeast of Tyronza, the farm’s owners have a motto. “If you know your farmer, you know your food!” They are committed to growing high quality, locally grown food and flowers, including heirloom vegetables, flowers, herbs and native plants. Whitton Farms offers a variety of heirloom vegetables, cut flowers, native plants and herbs on 15 acres of retired pastureland. Although not a certified organic farm, the owners pride themselves on the use of organic and sustainable farming methods. Owners Keith and Jill Forrester have another motto as well…“being good stewards of the land is one of our main goals.” You can check the complete harvest schedule here, but in June, you can expect to find cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, okra, greens, a variety of fresh herbs, and lots more. Go to www.WhittonFarms.com to find out more about this great place!
Since you’re close, I’d suggest you visit Marion. In the historic downtown, you’ll find one of the few monuments dedicated to the Sultana. The steamboat was carrying 2,400 passengers when it exploded during the early morning hours of April 27,1865. Many of the nearly 1,800 passengers who perished were former Union soldiers. The Sultana accident is still listed as America’s greatest mar
Have a great weekend and get out and explore The Natural State!