There is truly no place like home. And for those of us who call Glenwood home it couldn't be a better place to live, work, and raise families.
What better way to end a day than a quick trip and dip in the River?
Glenwood is a small town located in Pike and Montgomery Counties in southwest Arkansas about 30 miles west of Hot Springs. Located directly on the Caddo River, there is so much to see and do in Glenwood.
THE EARLY YEARS
Glenwood was originally platted out in 1907 by Curt Hays and Will Fagan. There was a depot in the middle of town called “Holly.” To get a Post Office, the name of the railroad station was changed to Glenwood in about 1908. The City was incorporated in 1909 following a boom in the timber industry and the establishment of a lumber mill.
Much of the towns’ economic history has been dependent on the timber industry. The A.L. Clark Lumber Company was responsible for much of Glenwood’s growth and even contributed by building a frame structure to use both as a Church and a School. The Methodist had church the first and third Sundays and the Baptists had church the second and fourth Sundays. School was held there during the week.
The lumber company also built company houses for the workers. The higher paid works lived in a row of houses nick-named “Silk Stocking Row,” which is now known as Gilmer Street. The lower paid workers lived on the eastern part of town called “Candy Town” because the houses were painted white with red stripes. Also, around 1909, a new brick school building was built in Glenwood. It sat on top of a hill which became known as “School House Hill.” The first highwater bridge to span the Caddo River was built in about 1910. The mountain just southwest of the town was called Burnham Mountain named after Graham Burnham who owned and lived on the mountain.
Glenwood continued to grow through the years. It is reported that the town had a service station on every corner. It also had several grocery stores, a “Ben Franklin” store, Piggly Wiggly, Western Auto and Otasco, just to name a few. Many will also recall "The Shoe Box", "Gilbert's", and "The Little People Place." Glenwood was home to both a Ford (Friendly Ford Sales) and a Chevrolet (Wisener Chevrolet) dealership for many, many years.
Glenwood has had an indoor movie theater known as the “Menlo” and an outdoor theater known simply as “The Drive In”. Many of those raised in Glenwood, or even those just passing through, will recall the Red Ball Café and the Dog House. Both establishments were common places to eat or to just hang out. The early 80s brought The Pizza Shack to town and it is still going strong today. Much fun has been had at all of these venues around town.
The 70’s saw steady growth with the opening of Bean Lumber Company. In the early ‘80s, a radio station – KWXI - came to town and the era of “Swap Shop” began. The 1990’s began with the opening of the Glenwood Country Club as well as the Glenwood Athletic Club. As sawmills had always been key to Glenwood’s prosperity, the City sponsored an annual festival known as Sawmill Days. After the closing of Bean Lumber Company, the annual festival also closed down. Also during the 80s and 90s, the City saw the first operations to utilize the Caddo River with canoe, kayak, and tubing rentals. Caddo River Festival was created in 2010 to celebrate the City's newly found tourism growth and to welcome visitors to the Caddo River. Today, the local mill has reopened as Caddo River Forest Products. The mill once again gives residents and newcomers opportunities for employment.
For more information about the history of Glenwood, visit:
THINGS TO DO IN GLENWOOD, ARKANSAS
Glenwood offers so many reasons to come to play and then just stay. It is located on the banks of the Caddo River and nestled in the foothills of the Ouachita National Forest. Arkansas.com touts the Caddo River as “an excellent “family” float stream”, and for being known for its fine fishing for smallmouth and spotted bass. Glenwood is centrally located between lakes Greeson, Ouachita, and DeGray. And, its just a “stone’s throw” from Murfreesboro and the Crater of Diamond State Park.
For more information on area attractions, visit:
Lake Greeson: https://www.arkansas.com/lake/lake-greeson/17
Crater of Diamonds State Park: http://www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com/
John Benjamin Community Fishing Pond: https://www.agfc.com/en/zone-map/fishing-map/642/
MISSION OF GLENWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Glenwood Regional Chamber of Commerce was formed during the 1990s. The Chamber’s mission has always been to promote the community and local businesses. The Chamber is regularly involved in ribbon cutting ceremonies welcoming new businesses to the City. In October, the Chamber sponsors an annual Trunk or Treat downtown where children and adults alike come from the surrounding communities to enjoy a fun filled night collecting candy and goodies from the business, churches and civic groups. It is truly a site to be seen when Broadway fills up with all those costumed people. The premier event for the Chamber is Caddo River Festival held annually the last weekend in April. Caddo River Festival was started in 2010 in an effort to “kick-off” the tourism season for the Caddo River. With that came the idea for Canoe Races. With the help of local business owner, David Claborn of Caddo River Camping & Canoe, two canoes were altered with axles and wheels and thus began the era of Caddo River Fest Canoe Races in 2016. This event started out small but has grown each year. It is more fun that can even be imagined and definitely a must see during Caddo River Fest. The Chamber hopes that the Canoe Races will help to put Glenwood "on the map."
The Chamber offices are located in the historic Old Depot. This Depot was once located in the middle of town and can be seen on many old pictures. It was moved at some point in time to a farm south of town but the owner graciously rededicated the Depot to the Chamber. The Depot contained many old artifacts from the its original days downtown. After relocation to the railroad tracks by the “New Gym”, it has now been restored. Also on site is a Railroad Engine donated by Iva McCoy. Both of these historical relics and many other artifacts are available for viewing at 73 Hwy. 70 East, Glenwood, Arkansas 71943.
Glenwood High School Gymnasium, Glenwood (Pike County) Arkansas. Source unknown.