Last week's column had a question about Pine Buro Road, a pleasantly obscure street off Cantrell Road where the stupendous new Interstate 430 on-ramp is located.
The reader asked: What the heck is a Pine Buro? He discovered that a buro is an alternative spelling of bureau, or a chest of drawers. Further assiduous research reveals a buro is also a desk with a cover and compartments for storage above the writing surface.
We're pretty sure, without looking it up, that a pine is a tree.
The current prominence of Pine Buro Road comes from the problem drivers were having in distinguishing that street from the on-ramp. Drivers alerted us, and in turn we passed that information on to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, and signage was improved.
We asked what folks know about Pine Buro Road.
Let's start with Larry Taylor, whom we count as an old friend and bookend.
He tells us the first home to which Pine Buro leads was built "some many years ago" by Dickie and Knox Gill in a style reminiscent of Old Mexico. Buro is a play on words, Taylor said -- think of burrow or burro. Knox Gill, he said, was a successful roofing contractor.
Taylor also notes that Cantrell Road -- also Arkansas 10 -- was a two-lane highway at the time with no residential or commercial development west of Mississippi Avenue.
Now the intersection of Arkansas 10 and I-430 is one of the busiest in the state. Commercial and residential development stretches for miles to the west.
Next up is Peggy Young Seamon. She has personal knowledge of the matter, she said, and believes Pine Buro is an incorrect spelling.
Seamon's aunt and uncle -- John and Maria Haley -- used to live at 10400 Cantrell Road, the official address of the property. But, she said, the street was always referred to as Pine Burro, with two r's. Seamon also recalls that the property next door was owned by the Gills.
Let's move this pack animal up the dusty trail to Bob Brown, who lives on Pine Buro Road with his wife, Charlotte, and has since they bought their house in 1978. Brown was once an important person around here, having spent 22 years on the Arkansas Supreme Court.
The house has even more historical significance than he does. It was the home of John Gould Fletcher and his wife, Charlie May Simon Fletcher.
Husband and wife were both writers. John Gould remains one of the state's great literary figures, having won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1939. He and Charlie May built that home in 1941 and called it Johnswood.
Suffering from mental and physical ailments, Fletcher drowned himself in 1950 in a pond near Johnswood.
Back to the on-ramp.
"When the ramp first opened," Justice Brown said, "half the people came up Pine Buro. The signage was not superlative. People for the most part have figured it out now. It was just kind of funny."
Metro on 06/23/2018
Print Headline: Burrowing into name of a street