July 16, 2024
walmart square
Bentonville City Square

 

Bentonville, Arkansas – What’s So Special?   Why, Bentonville is the Walmart Hometown of course. Tucked away in the Northwest Corner of Arkansas, Bentonville is the Benton County Seat.  It’s a delightful town with it’s old town center  built around a wonderful town square.   But Bentonville remains a small city, even today it only has a population of around 36,00 people. But it is the hometown of a person with a rather well-known name – Mr. Sam Walton.

Mr. Walton opened a small store on the square in Bentonville, Arkansas in 1950.  The name? Walton’s 5 & 10. To say it was a successful venture would be the mother of all understatements.  From Walton’s 5 & 10, Sam Walton and his family built their venture into what is today the World’s Largest Retail Company.

walmart store

The Walmart Hometown of Bentonville still has that Walton’s 5 & 10 on the town square. And it’s open for business.

 

walmart store1

The front section of Walton’s 5 & 10 contains a small retail area with the ambiance of an old time general store.  In the the back of the “store” is a museum with memorabilia and displays documenting the history of the Walmart Empire.

walmart soda

 

There is a soda fountain and ice cream parlor attached to Walton’s 5 & 10.  Great treats from a great staff who were kind enough to pose for this photo. The decor again is a step back in time. Notice the black and white photo on the wall?  Annette Funicello!  Remember her? The Mickey Mouse Club -Muscle Beach Party – Bikini Beach! Unfortunately she passed away in April of this year.  If you are a fan you might like her web site. Those were the days….  (but I digress).

Not everything in Bentonville is about Walmart history.  The Walmart Hometown is also the home of a great new art museum – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. (website: click here) Founded by Alice Walton, Sam’s daughter, it opened in November of 2011.  A gem of a museum, it was designed by noted architect Moshe Safdie.

Bentonville crystal museum
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Bentonville, Arkansas

 

The Spaces are delightful, open and light.

walmart art display

 

Crystal Bridges has a wonderful and eclectic permanent collection and hosts traveling exhibits of international renown.

 

Tobacco Sorters, 1941by Thomas Hart Benton (who lived in Kansas City by the way)

Tobacco Sorters was done by Thomas Hart Benton in 1941.  It is one of several works by Benton in the Crystal Bridges  permanent collection.  By the way – Mr. Benton resided in Kansas City.

 

 

Rose the Riveter, 1943, Norman Rockwell
Rose the Riveter, 1943, Norman Rockwell

 

 

Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell (1943) is one of the American Classics in the Bridges permanent collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bentonville, Arkansas – more than you might expect.  I was surprised and really enjoyed my visit.  Could a visit to the Walmart Hometown  be an interesting stop for your next road trip?

You never know what you’ll find …….. Enjoy The Adventure!

Dr.B, The PhotoTrekker

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