PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark. (KFSM)— Welcome to Prairie Grove, where the earliest occupants were drawn to a local spring.
Legend has it Spanish explorers camped there in the fall of 1541.
“The first settlers came to this spring. Obviously, water is very important to sustaining life, and the community grew right around the spring here in what’s now Mock Park," said Rick Ault, Main Street Prairie Grove Director.
Praire Grove is characterized by its vintage, antique, and boutique-style shops that dominate Main Street.
Many of the storefronts are original, like the Southern Mercantile built-in 1908.
“Small towns that’s their charm and I think that brings people, they want to see history," Carrie Kass, Southern Mercantile Owner, said.
The historic downtown has undergone a lot of revitalization.
Unlike some other small towns, 100% of the buildings are occupied.
New businesses like Cutting Up Quilt Studio & More use to be Pittman grocery store.
Artifacts from the 1940s were found inside the walls during renovations.
“The community here is very supportive, and our grand opening was just this past weekend. We got several flowers from a business on Main Street that is excited to have us here," Sarea Birmingham, the business owner, said.
It’s the small business owners that are the true heroes of Praire Grove, working together to preserve history and growth.
“I love Prairie Grove because of the community. We are just a small town who is growing, but the small-town feel is still the same even with the growth. The people here are just amazing," Shannon Stearman, a business owner, said.
During the Civil War, the city was the site of the Battle of Prairie Grove, where Confederate and Union soldiers clashed.
It ended in a stalemate that ensured permanent Union control of Northwest Arkansas.
The battlefield is now a state park.