Historic Homes

Historic Homes

Guided tours of four restored early 19th-century houses are offered daily on the hour, except noon. Trained professional tour guides lead each small group of visitors into a personal understanding of the restored structures and their outbuildings, and the time periods they represent. Tours last approximately one hour and begin with a brief introductory video. Tours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. encounter at least one original resident or composite historical character portrayed by an actor (see Living History).

Hinderliter Grog Shop
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Grog Shop:
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Hinderliter Grog Shop
- c. 1826-27. Now Little Rock's oldest building, the Hinderliter Grog Shop began as a log structure in 1826-27 by Jesse Hinderliter, a man of German descent. It was his home and business, where he lived with his wife and two slaves until his death in 1834. Popular folklore associates the building with the last meeting of the territorial legislature of 1835. Red oak logs and cypress flooring were used in the grog shop's construction. The clapboard siding and porch were later additions. Inside, the hand-carved federal mantel in the formal dining room shows that style was important, even in a log house on the frontier.


Brownlee House Brownlee House
Late 1840s. Robert Brownlee built this Federal style brick house in the late 1840s for his brother and sister-in-law. A Scottish stonemason, Brownlee came to Little Rock in 1837 to help build the Old State House. He pursued a number of careers before leaving for California in the 1849 gold rush. From the late 1840s through 1852, the home's residents were James and Isabelle Brownlee and Tabby, a slave.

Brownlee had the wooden mantels in the parlor and bedroom marblized, a popular decorative art of the time. The home's furnishings reflect the mid-19th century. Some belonged to lawyer and writer C.F.M. Noland, who may have lived in the house in the 1850s.

This house is a project of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Arkansas.


Woodruff Print Shop Woodruff Print Shop
- c. 1824. William Woodruff, a young New Yorker looking for a business opportunity, moved to Arkansas Post in the fall of 1819 to print the territory's first newspaper, the Arkansas Gazette. When Little Rock became the territorial capital in 1821, Woodruff moved his business upriver. Between 1824 and 1827 he lived and worked on the northeast corner of the museum's block.

The two-room brick structure now used as Woodruff's print shop is what remains of the original structure. Inside the print shop are original Woodruff furnishings and a replica of the Ramage press that he brought to Arkansas by keel boat.

Outside, a medicinal herb garden features native and imported plants used by settlers and native Americans for healing. It is maintained by the Arkansas Chapter of The Herb Society of America.


McVicar House
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Bedroom:
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Living Room:
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Kitchen:
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McVicar House
Late 1840s. James McVicar built this wooden house, using white oak logs and square pegs, on the same block his friend Robert Brownlee built a brick home. Their homes follow the symmetrical 1840s style with a large central hall bordered by two rooms of equal size. It is a sophisticated version of the "double pen" log house seen across Second Street. McVicar was director of the state penitentiary, a Mason, a veteran of the Mexican War, and a slave holder. In 1849 he and Brownlee led the Little Rock-California Company to the California Gold Rush. McVicar later returned to Little Rock and married.


Plum Bayou Log House Plum Bayou Log House
1830s. The written history of this home begins in 1856. In that year it was found abandoned and in need of repair to house the Pemberton family, who had just moved from North Carolina. The house may date to the 1830s. It is built of logs from ancient cypress and has brick chimneys - few stones are found in the delta where it was built. Originally located on Plum Bayou near the farming community of Scott, the house was moved 20 miles to Historic Arkansas in the 1970s. It is the museum's hands-on education center, where Arkansas school children experience pioneer activities firsthand. The Log House is open to the general public during open house special events.


1850s Farmstead 1850s Farmstead
As you visit the Plum Bayou Log House, you will be surrounded by the newly created 1850s Farmstead, which provides an authentic 19th century context for the Pemberton family's main house. It's easy to imagine how the family sustained themselves on this working farm, complete with a barn, slave cabin, privy, smoke house and raised bed gardens. The Farmstead was home not only to the Pembertons, but also to their slave John Perry, his wife and two children. When the Perrys were emancipated, they elected to stay there and became successful farmers. The Farmstead, which occupies a half block just north of the main museum building, is surrounded by an authentic snake rail fence.