The way things used to be in Searcy Arkansas. Porches and sidewalks

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

Churches joined together and held a carnival for young people today June 23 2012 in Spring Park in Searcy Arkansas. Spring Park's old pavilion was in use again as shown here.Spring Park old pavilion Searcy AR

I parked a little distance away on Spring Street and noticed a few old houses that are just about the same as they used to be.  Look at this delightful shaded home with a welcoming porch.

Searcy AR old Spring Street residence

And there was a sidewalk to walk on (old Searcy used to have lots of sidewalks.) It was just  not maintained. I regret that builders today do not put sidewalks in their new subdivisions in Searcy Arkansas.  I asked one once why they didn't and he said it would make the house cost more and the people wouldn't pay.  I disagreed then and still do.  Sidewalks are wonderful.

Sidewalks

Comments (14)

Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

I remember sidewalks were very prominent in old Searcy also. They only extended 4 or 5 blocks from town center on most streets. Arch and Race were two streets that sidewalks went out 12 blocks or more.

My favorite sidewalk was on Arch St. a short distance from the Episcopal church. I'm sure Anita remembers it also. It was slate and felt so good to bare feet where it was shady and that was most places. Over the years it had become worn and fractured with bad cracks. The homeowners in one section replaced the walk with a simulated slate. It is probably concrete but smoothed and marked like veins in the slate.

A few years ago, I took a picture. See for yourself.

Faux Slate on Arch Street

Jun 23, 2012 06:49 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Don, that looks like slate and it looks as if it would be beside the old Lightle, Dobbins, Lightle building where I worked as a real estate agent when I first got my license.  Guess I'll have to do a slow drive-by.

Jun 23, 2012 07:49 AM
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

May be. We'll let the Google man drive by and show you.

Slate Sidewalk

 

Jun 23, 2012 09:25 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Don, that is the Lightle Dobbins Lightle building.  It is owned and kept nicely by Paul Petty, attorney now.  But you say this is concrete made to look like slate?  I'd have thought the rough edges were done by some untrained concrete man.  LOL

Jun 23, 2012 09:35 AM
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

Barbara, Paula and I walked to the area in 2006 specifically to look at the sidewalk that I rememberd as being slate. I was so pleased with what the property owners had done with the sidewalk. I believe that it was intentionally constructed to look like the original slate as a historical perservation measure.

Remembering the slate sidewalk is a strange kind of memory for a kid but what I best remember was the feel of the slate to my bare feet. I remember rubbing my feel along the walk feeling the smoothness. I wouldn't remember concrete that way.

I wish Anita would chime in but I understand her computer in on the blink. Maybe tomorrow.

Jun 24, 2012 02:16 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Don, going barefoot was not fun at times if I remember right.  Our feet had to get really tough to walk on the streets that had heated up in the summer.  Perhaps slate didn't get hot? 

And thongs had not been invented then!! 

Jun 24, 2012 07:09 AM
Anonymous
Anita Fuller

Barbara, you didn't leave this blog up long enough for me to digest and comment.  I've been too busy looking and wishing at the house for sale on West Center!!!

Sidewalks were USED and so important in our good old days. People walked to work from their homes...to downtown Searcy.  In the hot summer, some ladies would walk holding an umbrella above their head.  As I've reported MANY TIMES, all of us in the West End walked to and from school each day, as so did our East End friends on Market and Center.    Not so anymore.  You try walking out in the street and you'll get run down.  I think more kids would walk to high school IF there were sidewalks extending down Arch Street.

I'm so glad Don and Paula made the effort to take a pic. of the sidewalk in from on Lightle,Dobbins, and Lightle.  and yes, it did take awhile for our bare feet to toughen up.

 

 

Jun 24, 2012 10:13 PM
#7
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Anita, you must keep your ear tuned this way.  I have another blog that needs to be put up today and it will be up to you sleuths to find the answer.

Times for sidewalks have also changed because of the new fad of walking and running for exercise.  I have a daily walk down my street and see almost no cars but lots of walkers and runners.  In really crowded neighborhoods the need for sidewalks would be great.  They'd be good for kids learning to ride their tricycle or bicycle or play hop scotch (what the devil is that kids today would say).  Actually, today's kids don't play many games that require exercise, do they??

Jun 24, 2012 11:47 PM
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

I'm a big walker but I avoid sidewalks. I learned years ago that the asphalt is much better for walking than the hard concrete. I'm not alone in this. It does present a need to be careful of traffic. There aren't any sidewalks in my neighborhood so it's easy to walk the alphalt.

Jun 25, 2012 03:32 AM
Luke Jones
Garver - Little Rock, AR

Lots of modern subdivisions are made without sidewalks. The one I lived in between 1996 and 2004 or so just had gutters, and we'd walk in those. The one I live in now, which is about 60 years old, also lacks one. Subdivision design is horribly skewed towards cars; just look at all the houses that have a garage instead of a front door. Designers put in speed bumps, but what they don't understand is the gentle curves and wide lanes in subdivisions encourage drivers to go faster. It's just basic psychology.

Can you tell I don't like modern subdivisions?

Jul 03, 2012 07:23 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Hi Luke.  We still miss you in Searcy and yes, it does sound as if you don't like modern subdivisions.  I detest the speed bumps in all the subdivisions and think I should sue the city or someone for my sore back after going over those things!  And they slow down the fire trucks or police cars when they need to get someplace in a hurry.

Jul 03, 2012 07:29 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Don, I didn't realize the asphalt was easier for walking! 

Jul 03, 2012 07:30 AM
Anonymous
Kevin Stewart

This is my biggest complaint about Searcy!  I checked with the mayor's office several years ago and she stated that the city has an ordinance that requires sidewalks to be built in every subdivision, but it is not enforced.  Searcy must do better.  For example, the two parks in the center of town, Berryhill and Spring, do not have sidewalks to access them from neighboring areas!!!  When we ride our bikes as a family, I am scared to death of Ella in front of the high school.  However it is the only way to access the bike trail!

I would pay more for a sidewalk, and I think most would.

Kevin

Jul 12, 2012 11:38 AM
#13
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Kevin, you make such good points.  When I moved here in the late 60's there was not a single park with playground equipment in the whole town!  My kids had been used to going to play in parks in other towns.  I complained to the mayor and he got about $1800 to be spent on playground equipment.  I was chosen to order it and it was placed in Spring Park.  That was a good beginning. 

Jul 12, 2012 10:22 PM