The small-town feel of Bentonville, AR belies the corporate energy of Wal-Mart’s International Headquarters located near the heart of the city. Established in 1836 as the first county seat in the state of Arkansas, Bentonville has maintained the historic character of the town. Within the city limits, there are 72 historical buildings and homes, including the Peel House Mansion and Historical Gardens. The Bentonville, Arkansas town square embraces a Civil War statue, benches, fountain, and beautiful gardens surrounded by quaint shops, and the Wal-Mart Visitors Center, Sam Walton’s original variety store which now traces the origin and growth of Wal-Mart.
Nearby Bella Vista has seven championship-quality golf courses featuring 117 holes of golf, and there’s a combination of five more public and private golf courses in Benton County. Water sports and camping are popular at nearby Beaver Lake.
Bentonville, AR is 5 miles from Pea Ridge National Military Park, 19 miles from Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, and 38 miles from Eureka Springs.
The Peel Mansion – In 1875, Colonel Samuel West Peel built a marvelous villa tower Italianate Mansion on the outskirts of Bentonville, Arkansas. It was a working farmstead surrounded by 180 acres of apple trees.
Colonel Peel, pioneer businessman, Indian agent and Confederate soldier, was the first native born Arkansan to serve in the U.S. Congress. He and his wife, Mary Emaline Berry Peel, raised nine children here.
Much care was taken in erecting this magnificent house. The timbers are of sturdy yellow pine. The walls are made of local brick, late embellished by a stucco exterior. Exterior stone sills and lintels were finely carved by a local stone mason.
The front hall is a sophisticated presentation of rare pine graining and a gracefully turned walnut balustrade stairway. Authentically designed curtains and colors derived from meticulous research embellish this softly lighted Victorian interior of the 1870’s. There is a rare Anglo-Japanese mantle in the library and unusual Greek Revival molded trim in the parlor. Kerosene lamps and chandeliers lighted the darkness in the Peel household of many years ago and careful attention to this reality has resulted in a display of unusual lighting devices complete with globes, chimneys, wicks, and authentic period details. Rugs, coverlets, furniture and other accessories create a truly authentic interior of the early Victorian period.
The Historic Arkansas Museum and the Old State House have generously loaned fine antiques and artifacts to assist in furnishing the interior of the Peel Mansion Museum.
Heritage Gardens – The Peel Mansion site is also an outdoor museum of historic roses, perennials and native plants. Careful research over many months has resulted in an extensive inventory of nineteenth century plantings. Descendants of early settlers were interviewed for their childhood memories of early gardens. The 1845 Jacob Smith Nursery list from Fayetteville served as a documentary source. Various vignette gardens are interlaced among curvilinear walks and large shade trees creating a most appropriate setting for this great historic building of northwest Arkansas.
Beaver Lake, completed in 1966 and nestled high in the Ozark Mountains, is located in northwest Arkansas, the birthplace of the White River. The 28,370-acre lake is the first of the impoundments created in Arkansas and Missouri along the lengthy White River system.
Taking advantage of the natural scenic beauty, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has constructed a variety of recreational facilities. Paved access roads wind through 12 developed parks. There are 2,008 acres of campgrounds and over 650 individual campsites. Visitors can enjoy such conveniences as electricity and fire-rings. Drinking water, showers and restrooms are nearby. Other facilities — picnic sites, swimming beaches, hiking trails, boat launching ramps, sanitary dump stations, group picnic shelters and amphitheaters — are also available in the parks.
With 487 miles of shoreline highlighted by limestone bluffs, Beaver Lake offers a world of recreational opportunities. Marinas and outfitters are plentiful. Cabins, resorts and other lodging ring the lake, and campgrounds are also available in good number.
PEA RIDGE NATIONAL MILITARY PARK commemorates and preserves the site of the pivotal March, 1862 battle. The park covers over 4,300 acres and encompasses the entire battlefield as well as a section of original earthworks constructed prior to the battle by the Federal forces. The park was created by an Act of Congress in 1956 and was dedicated in 1963.
Major features include a recreation of the historic Elkhorn Tavern structure, original remnants of the Telegraph / Military Road (an important thoroughfare prior to the war), as well as the battlefield itself. The park is administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior and is part of the Civil War Discovery Trail, the Lower Missouri Civil War Heritage Trail and the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
If you have any questions or comments about Pea Ridge National Military Park or the contents of this page, please contact the Pea Ridge National Military Park.