There's a new "old" front porch at 601 E Race. A newly opened restaurant called The White House Cafe.

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

This historic home at 601 E Race held happy families during the early days of Searcy AR.

Lately, however, it seemed to be coming closer to its demise.  It's a big lot and it is highly commercial land.

It has found a new owner!  That owner has turned it into a restaurant and the restaurant has been open only a few days.

601 E Race Searcy AR

Isn't this a charming new look for the house?  I like the comfortable looking front porch which is reminiscent of the days when folks actually sat on the front porch!  I also like the decorative trim over the extra large windows.

And I love the colors!  Notice the White House Cafe sign matches the shutters and the painted door steps!

It has always been a lovely home so join with me in hoping the cafe is successful for a long time.

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Arkansas White County Searcy Searcy Arkansas
Tags:
white house cafe
searcy ar
old biggs home
historic houses
601 e race
barbara s duncan real estate sales agent remax

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Rainer
4,415
Susan Tice
Realty One Group Dockside - Myrtle Beach, SC

Sounds lovely. I have a son in Arkansas. I would love to take a peek sometime. Thanks for blogging.

Jun 28, 2013 11:00 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,160,897
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Susan, you need to take a peek at Arkansas!  Choose Searcy.

Jun 28, 2013 12:26 PM #2
Rainmaker
3,403,549
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Ms. Barbara have you taken the time and try out the food?  If so how was it?  :)

Jun 28, 2013 09:08 PM #3
Anonymous
Anita Fuller

Isn't that the Lee Biggs home, in the good old days?  Phone 1004.

LOVE it, and thank you to the owers who did not bulldoze it down:  I shall frequent this cafe whenever I"m in Searcy and I encourage everyone who loves historical Searcy to do so, too.  Move over, Midnight Oil, here comes The White House Cafe.

Jun 28, 2013 11:03 PM #4
Anonymous
Mary Dunn

Once upon a time there was another White House Café in Searcy.  As I recall on the SW corner of Race and Grand.  Wonder if there is any connection.

Jun 29, 2013 04:47 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,160,897
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

James, I have not been there yet.

Anita, it is the Biggs home from the good old days.  I hope it is as successful as the Midnight Oil old house coffee house.

Mary, we have had blogs about the other White House Cafe.  I guess they didn't patent their name.  LOL

Jun 29, 2013 10:31 PM #6
Anonymous
Debbie Wantulok

I noticed the activity around this house.  It sure didn't seem to take them long to get the doors open.  I haven't been either but it does look inviting.  I it a certainly an improvement over empty and run down.  I look forward to hearing more about it.  Whoever drops by first should post a menu and a review.  I'm anxious just to see inside.  They have done a lovely job.  I like the colors too!

Jun 30, 2013 03:02 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,160,897
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Debbie, the front porch does look inviting.  And I agree that the improvement is spectacular.

Jun 30, 2013 09:32 PM #8
Anonymous
Tanya Valls

Does anyone know the history behind this house, who built it and when it was built? It is now the 3 Rivers Catfish place--Great catfish!--but in walking around inside the house, I couldn't help but be intrigued by its obvious age and beauty!

Nov 18, 2018 05:56 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,160,897
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Tanya, I think one of the Searcy Sleuths, Lee A Biggs, can give its history.  I'll see if he can answer your questions.

Nov 18, 2018 06:04 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,160,897
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

So here is Lee's answer to the question.  Thanks, Lee!

 


You asked for it, so here goes... You know the ole saying, “be careful what you ask for...”

My Great Grandfather, W. H. (William Huddleston) Lightle built the house. Construction was completed in 1882, the year my great aunt, Elizabeth Key Lightle (Davis) was born. She was the 2nd of 4 children born to W. H. & Anna Burnette Lightle nee Snipes. The eldest child was my grandmother, Minnie Hicks Lightle, then came my great aunt and the 2 little brothers, James Edward Lightle, Sr., a lawyer and father of the Ed Lightle, the Searcy lawyer that you will remember, and the youngest, Julian Burnett Lightle, Sr, grandfather of Burney Lightle & Steve Lightle, who still live in Searcy.

The magnolia tree in the front yard was planted by my grandmother as a seedling in 1882, when she was 4 yrs old.

When the house was first built, here were 2 ornate fireplace mantels shipped in by boat and rail from St Louis, & I removed the mantels when I sold the house. The house had 3 coal burning fireplaces rather than wood burning. The front room that you enter in the present catfish place still has the original fireplace hearth on the East side of what was the living room.

My great aunt ended up with the place after her father died in 1922 & converted it into a duplex after her husband died in the 1930’s & she moved in with her widowed sister in Memphis. This was during depression years & she rented the duplex for a source of income.

My dad bought the place from his aunt & did a major remodel in 1953 to restore it to its original state with updated plumbing/electrical, sheet rock, appliances, etc & an extension to make the kitchen & breakfast area larger. The present kitchen area and 2 of the rooms off the hallway where people can be seated to eat were paneled with Ponderosa Pine & beautifully finished when my dad did the remodel but they have now been painted over at some point after I sold the place.

The original house had a well out back & a detached kitchen, smoke house, barn & carriage house. There was some livestock & poultry kept on the property. Only the smoke house remains, however my dad built onto it, doubling its size to make a workshop. I remember when the barn was pulled down. When I was little, we kept a couple of horses on a lot behind the house where the 7 apartment units are located.

The original property was a few acres surrounding the house & my great aunt & her brothers were deeded parcels where the brothers built houses for themselves & their wives & later their sons also built their first homes on adjoining lots that fronted on Market St. before they moved West of Searcy & built larger homes in later years. The 2 story brick house just to the East of the 3 Rivers Catfish place was where Ed Lightle, Sr. built a home for him & his wife, Margaret (the father & mother of the Ed Lightle you knew).

I only recently saw the inside after the catfish place moved in, & during the past 20 years since I left, when it has had 3 or 4 other occupants, the place has been “sliced & diced” so much inside that I hardly recognize what once was...

That’s probably a lot more history than you wanted to hear... There are a few more tales but I’ll skip them to myself for now because some of the participants are still living & the Statute of Limitation may not have run in every case... (good thing inanimate objects can’t talk) 🤓

Nov 18, 2018 05:58 PM #11
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