One Tank Travels: BPW Barn Sale in Camden


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: The BPW Barn Sale in Camden

This popular arts and crafts festival ( the largest in south Arkansas) in Camden has been going on for 44 years and is held the last Saturday of September ( September 29).

The tree-shaded grounds around the historic Tate Barn provide a southern plantation setting for the event, which is held at Oakland Farms at Oakland and Monticello Street.

The festival has all the staples of a good time including work from over 100 crafters, food, live music, a 5K, an Antique and Classic Car Show, a Barn Dance ( sounds fun!), tour of historic homes, and more. There is no admission but it does cost $5 to park your car in a reserved lot on site. Over a hundred artisans from states throughout the South will be on hand to exhibit their hand-made crafts that include woodcarvings, paintings, ceramics, stained glass, toys, jewelry, furniture and more.

As to a bit of history about the grounds, the Tates were among the earliest settlers of Arkansas and were the first settlers of Ouachita County. What makes the Tate Barn ( which is now on the National Register of Historic Places) stand out is it’s unaltered state. Its four levels and roof of hand-cut cypress shingles are in great shape.

According to information from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, ‘The structure was probably built during the 1880s, although the exact date of construction is uncertain.It is an excellent example and a well-preserved symbol of a life style that is rapidly disappearing from the Mid-South. When it was built the state was almost entirely rural, Little Rock and Fort Smith were only small towns; Fayetteville and Hot Springs, only large villages. No famous general ever quartered his horses at the Barn; no notorious desperadoes ever “hid out” from the law in the place; yet it remains a simple and rather dignified relic of the past’.

The grounds are also the home to the Tate family home, which sits among tall oak trees. The home has housed six generations of the Tate family, including Bob and Amanda Tate Wunnenberg who currently live there. Outbuilding on the grounds include a smoke house, summer kitchen,  milk house and the famous barn.

For more details on the event, visit

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