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story.lead_photo.caption The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will present a Walks Through History tour Saturday in Heber Springs. Zac Cothern, director of the Mary I. Wold Cleburne County Library, joins Amy Milliken, AHPP education coordinator, on the courthouse lawn, which is decorated with American flags through Nov. 11. Saturday’s tour will begin at the courthouse. - Photo by Carol Rolf

— Amy Milliken of Conway, AHPP education coordinator, will lead the tour, which is free. The tour will begin at 11 a.m. at the Cleburne County Courthouse, 301 W. Main St.

Heber Springs was initially called Sugar Loaf, founded by Max Frauenthal in 1881 when he established the Sugar Loaf Springs Co. and plotted the town site, which was incorporated in 1882. Milliken said once the town was named the Cleburne County seat, plans were developed to build a courthouse. That first courthouse was completed in 1884 on the same site as the current courthouse.

“The current courthouse building was completed in 1914,” Milliken said. “It was designed by Clyde A. Ferrell of Little Rock and built by A.M. Brynes of Fayetteville.

“The courthouse is an excellent example of the Classical Revival style with its two-story pedimented portico supported by four Doric columns,” Milliken said. “The building features quoins, a dentiled cornice, stone lintels and sills, and a dome with arched louvered air vents. The front and rear elevations of the courthouse are identical, which is unique. The building still has the original patterned ceramic-tile floors, marble wainscoting and marble stairways with decorative iron railings. Some of the original pressed tin ceiling is visible under the front portico. The original one-over-one double-hung windows were replaced in 1975, and the dome and pediment were painted in contrasting brown and white colors that same year. The Cleburne County Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.”

Milliken said the tour will proceed down Main Street from the courthouse, passing a two-story brick building at the corner of Third and Main streets, which was the first brick building constructed in Heber Springs in the early 1890s with bricks fired in the local brick kiln on Sulphur Creek. She said she will point out a variety of early buildings as the tour continues through downtown.

Milliken said the tour will include a look at some private homes, including the Hugh L. King house, built in 1891 in the Queen Anne style of architecture at 110 W. Spring St., and the Dr. Cyrus F. Crosby house, built in 1912 in the Craftsman and Prairie style at 202 N. Broadway. Both of those houses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Milliken said if the weather is not too hot Saturday, the tour may also include a stop at Spring Park, where the Woman’s Community Club Band Shell was constructed in 1933 of native stone and concrete. The band shell is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“We will end the tour at the old post office building, which is now the home of the Cleburne County Historical Society, at 102 E. Main St.,” she said. “Charles Stuart, [president of the Historical Society], will be there to answer questions about the building, which was built in 1937.”

Milliken said the piece de resistance of the old post office building is the original post office mural, Mural of the Ozarks: [From Timber to Agriculture], painted in 1939 by H. Louis Freund. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, later known as the Section of Fine Arts, commissioned the oil-on-canvas painting as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Policy.

Saturday’s tour is co-sponsored by the Mary I. Wold Cleburne County Library, Downtown Network Heber Springs and the Arkansas Humanities Council.

The American Institute of Architects offers two Health, Safety and Wellness continuing-education learning unit credits for members who attend a Walks Through History tour.

For more information on the Walks Through History tours, call the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program at (501) 324-9880; write the agency at 1100 North St., Little Rock, AR 72201; email; or visit

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