Watch out for low flying aircraft.
I'm not good at Google search but I wonder if the building is still there. Hope it is as it's a very interesting building. Thank you Jay
This is the place that is in the article that Jay linked, but it doesn't match the picture. Either it was rebuilt at some point, or there's another place.
I had a nice "drive" in Google Maps along rt 71. Very scenic! I couldn't find any other possibilities. Here's another old photo.
I think it has to be the same place, just drastically changed. Note the "Tower" sign on the right above. The tower would have been wooden then.
Isn't that the base of the old pumps in front of the 2-storey modern building?
We drove this road last fall. Some of the buildings are still there but have been changed thru the years. Before they built the new Interstate hwy that bypass Rt 71. That was the main road north from Van Buren/ Fort Smith Arkansas area, to Fayetville/Rogers area in North West Arkansas. It was considered the most dangerous road in the state. With one major car wreck per week, usually with fatalities. The road was just too croocked, steep, and narrow, for the amount of traffic. We had to drive it many times, and always were worn out when we were finished with the trip from fighting the heavy truck traffic. . But it is a very scenic drive. Today the traffic is very little. Just mostly local traffic and a few sight seers. So it is a nice drive again. Almost all the business have closed down due to the traffic moving to the Interstate. But I like the road again. Thanks for posting the photo. Brings back memories ...
I agree, it looks like the stone building was enlarge or replaced, but the pump island is still in front of it.
Not convinced the old and new pump islands are in the same place. Looks like the land goes up behind the old buildings, which is not the case behind the 2 story building in the new pictures. Seems to me that the old buildings are closer to where the long one story building is now.
Mt. Gayler (or Gaylor) is about 30 miles south of me on Hwy. 71. As Donnie mentioned, the highway was twisty, steep, and terribly dangerous before the new I-49 was built paralleling it. It is still twisty and steep, a great Model T road, and I drive it often.
There used to be several more buildings on the mountain, mostly tourist traps with lots of "souvenirs." The tower is still there, but as was mentioned, it is now a metal one. You used to be able to climb up in the tower for a small fee, but now it is closed to visitors. The businesses which were in the buildings pictured are all now closed as well, but I remember when some of them were open. There are a couple of older motels still operating just north of the tower, and about a mile north is Grandma's Cafe, which is still open some days. They feature "home cooking", and you'll have to stand in line to eat lunch there on a nice weekend. (Lunch is the only meal they serve.) Come early to get a slice of pie, or they'll run out. Sometimes they run out of everything else as well.
Hwy. 71 is just one of many scenic highways in this area. C'mon down and we'll go for a drive. Dan Conder and his wife did just that a year or so ago. I believe they enjoyed it.
BTW, the building(s) shown in Jay's initial post is the same one posted in other pics at the foot of the tower. You can see in the first pic that the highway is beginning its several-mile descent, and Lake Shepherd Springs is at the bottom of the holler in the distance. You can see the same curve in the highway in Chris Landry's pic.
You always pass those place especially here in the south and wonder what happened but it's like seeing a model T or A just sitting out rotting away makes you feel bad. Or it does me. Tim
Well please note how much they have widened the road..and that took a lot of frontage from the place.
That's a good observation.
Jay in NoCal -- Thanks for posting that 2010 link to the Washington Co. Observer article in your first post. I completely overlooked that link until now, zeroing in on the picture before. I just read that article and all the online responses to it. All that probably isn't of interest to someone not connected with this area, but I really enjoyed it. Thanks again.
Mike, Thanks for pointing out the link to The Observer. I also missed it. And thank you Jay for posting the link. It was a good read. Having ridden with my Mom and Dad for years on the road and then later driven it many times myself with my Wife and kids, it brought back memories, And like a lot of the folks in the stories postings, I have also climbed to the top of that tower. I do not have any real memories of stopping at the stores, but I can almost guarantee that we did at least stop for a cold Dr Pepper ...
You can also see the original building behind the station behind the white building and tower. Looks like they add a new roof and front to the old station. The two story building may be original but not in the first picture. - Matt