- Historic Sites
Rogers Historical Museum
The Rogers Historical Museum serves a region with a rich natural and cultural heritage and a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. At the Museum you can explore that heritage and discover that spirit through a wide variety of permanent and changing exhibits, educational programs, and special events. The Museum also has a research library available for public use.
You can step into the turn of the 20th century with a tour of the 1895 Hawkins House and immerse yourself in thought-provoking exhibits offering interesting things to see and to do. You'll enjoy hands-on fun in The Attic, a "please touch" exhibit that is a favorite with families, and explore a downtown of yesteryear on First Street, an exhibit that brings to life three early Rogers businesses.
You'll come to appreciate the history of this corner of Northwest Arkansas through the stories of its people: touching stories, funny stories, inspiring stories, stories of famous people like Betty Blake (Mrs. Will) Rogers, political reformer W.H. "Coin" Harvey, or pioneer aviator Louise Thaden, and stories of ordinary people who lived through extraordinary times. The Museum's mission is to preserve and share these stories.
The Museum primarily collects historical objects associated with Benton County, Arkansas, or with long-time residents, businesses, or organizations. Period furniture and household goods needed for display in the Museum's historic 1895 Hawkins House are also collected. The Museum collects objects from 1819, when the Arkansas Territory was formed, to the present.
The Museum’s permanent collection contains over 34,000 historical objects which are used for in-house exhibits, research, and loans. These objects form the core of the Museum's exhibits, providing visitors with a tangible piece of history to experience and learn from.
The permanent collection's major categories are:
Photographic images and postcards
Archival materials including documents, maps, blueprints, books, newspapers, and magazines
Flat textiles, quilts, clothing, and accessories
Furniture and household items
Paintings, drawings, and posters, many depicting Rogers subjects and scenes
The Museum’s teaching collection consists of over 2,000 objects which are either reproductions, duplicates of objects within the permanent collection, or objects without historical documentation or local significance. Objects in this collection are used by visitors in the hands-on exhibit "The Attic," are displayed in the period stores of the "First Street" exhibit, or are used for in-house and outreach educational purposes, including Discovery Boxes, programs, and tours.
The Museum also owns a mid-1900s Frisco Railroad caboose in Centennial Park (located two blocks from the Museum) in busy downtown Rogers. The caboose serves as a reminder of the town's railroad history and complements the park's depot-styled pavilion. The caboose is open during regular Museum hours, May 1 through October 31.