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South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society & the Newton House Museum

The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society (formerly known as the South Arkansas Historical Foundation) is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit located in El Dorado, Arkansas.  The Historical Preservation Society's principal property is the beautiful Newton House Museum.  Located on Jackson Street, this historic Greek Revival home has authentic décor that reflects its antebellum construction (circa 1849).  As the only antebellum home open to the public in El Dorado, it offers a glimpse into the rich history of southern Arkansas. This museum is a great family attraction and one of the special places to visit while in El Dorado.

The Historical Preservation Society also hosts the annual Mayhaw Festival, history forums, free educational programs (September through May), and a Speakers Series co-sponsored by South Arkansas Community College.  Membership is available through the Preservation Society support organization.



The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society, Inc. is pleased to announce the 25th Anniversary celebration of a humble little berry and a touch of South Arkansas history during the 2017 Annual Mayhaw Festival, sponsored by First Financial Bank, held on Saturday May 6 in El Dorado. 

The 2017 Mayhaw Festival kicks off with the Annual Murphy USA 5K/10K Mayhawlin’ Run at 7:30AM and will wrap up at 4:00PM with tons of fun for whole family throughout the day. All activities will occur around the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society which includes the grounds of the Newton House Museum and the old ECCEL buildings along Jackson and Faulkner Streets, located in the Murphy Hill District. For every ones safety, Jackson Street (between Peach and Sheppard Streets) and Faulkner Street (between Jackson and Madison Streets) will be closed on Saturday from 7:00AM to 5:00PM. 

Start the festival out right by taking a bite out of the “guest of honor” during the Mayhaw Jelly Biscuit Breakfast, beginning shortly after the Mayhawlin 5K/10K Run, then enjoy a day of Newton House Museum tours, live music, a vintage market of hand-crafted, homemade goods created by artisan vendors, lawn & garden vendors, quality food vendors, and the “Park & Shine” antique car and bike show. 

This year’s festival will include a “Kid’s Jam” play area with lots of activities such as: rock climbing, face painting, bounce houses, obstacle courses, blacksmithing demonstration, rope making, an art contest, a petting zoo, plus much more! Don’t forget to pick up a jar or two of that truly Southern treat, Mayhaw Jelly. Each hand-crafted batch of jelly is made from scratch, using locally sourced fruit and a traditional recipe passed down through generations, and created in the kitchen of the Newton House Museum.  

There’ll be dancin’ in the street when our roster of musicians take to the main stage and fill the air with music for your listening and dancing pleasure. This year’s band lineup will feature Mama and the Outlaws (formally Roses & Revolvers) kicking us off from 8:00AM-10:00AM. Then it’s the return of the Haley Creek Boys as they take the stage from 10:00AM-Noon.  The Shapiro Brothers keep the beat moving from Noon-2:00PM and The Captain Ledge Band closes the festival out with their special mix of jams from 2:00PM-4:00pm. 

The “Wing Ding” cook-off and classic car competition normally hosted during the Mayhaw Festival will be held as separate events this fall. More information on both events will follow in the future. 

Again our title sponsor for the 25th Anniversary Mayhaw Festival is First Financial Bank and additional sponsors include; Murphy USA, Systems Contracting, United Insurance Agency and Noalmark Broadcasting. 

Come on out and join the fun on May 6th with the entire family! Be sure to check out the 2017Annual Mayhaw Festival on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society’s website for regular postings, registration forms, and updates.

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