As I was mentioning on the first page of the blog, Mid Town Shopping Center was the hub of activity in the 60's and 70's. I remember when I was young Walton's Department Store was on the west end. When you went in the farthest west door you were walking into sporting goods. Toward the back and then right you went up a ramp and into the dry good part of the store. Of course we went there for everything - cause if they didn't have it, you didn't need it! There were a couple of ladies who worked there - I don't remember their names - but I think they stayed with the company for years and even moved out into the store on North Walton when it was built in the late 70's. Next door was Phillips Food Center. Harlon Phillips was the owner and he was in the store quite often. He would greet EVERY customer with a "Hi there! how are you today?" It was the same with the employees, as I worked for him when he opened Food 4 Less on North Walton next to Wal-Mart. If someone needed a price check, often Mr. Phillips would know the price off the top of his head. A great guy and a genius of the grocery business. His wife would come in often too and was so elegant. Nice people to work for.
In the earlier years there was a restaurant in the back of Phillips. My Aunt Martha used to be a waitress there for a while. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother on NW 2nd street and we rode our bikes all over town, of course, and spent a lot of time in Walton's and Phillips'.
Not a great picture, but you get the idea!
Later, in the late 70's, both companies moved to North Walton - here are the aerial views:
There was a gas station added out front later.
Here's the old Food 4 Less building. The old Kentucky Fried Chicken is in the foreground.
Both buildings were remodeled and are now WalMart Transportation and Logistics Buildings. WalMart bought out Mr. Phillips in about 1982
The lot that Mid Town now occupies has been a busy spot for many years. The county courthouse sat on the corner of Main and 2nd in front of the current buildings.
The courthouse was built in 1874, one of the first things we could accomplish after Reconstruction following the Civil War.
Later after it was torn down for the "new" court house in 1928, the Hotel Bentonville and the Crosstown Restaurant were on the corner, as was a bus stop.
Now we are preparing for the new Harps being built on North Walton and 13th. The old buildings will be torn down to make way for retail shops, a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, and a parking garage.
Once again Downtown Bentonville will remake itself for the betterment of the community.