I found this park bench, sitting outside a computer store, in Sheridan, Arkansas. They painted it to look like a computer as a way to advertise their business. I thought it was neat and took a picture of it.
During the Spring, Summer, and Autumn months, my daughter and I usually take a drive on the weekends, ending up at some destination where a civil war re-enactment, historical event, or any type of festival that is occurring. This past weekend, we ended up in Sheridan, Arkansas, stumbling upon their 22nd Annual Antique Machine and Tractor Show. I decided to drive a few miles down the road to pick up my nephew and have him join us.
My daughter was in awe of the many tractors lined up around the courthouse square. Then she saw a train, set up with a passenger car and caboose and immediately wanted to get on it. It was a very windy day, so they weren’t able to set up the inflatables, but they did have a few other activities set up for children. I let the kids play for a little while, then we walked around the square, looking at all the tractors and machines and as well as a few antique cars. They had a few booths set up with knick knacks, crafts, jewelry, clothes, shoes, and home made baked goodies.
We followed our tractor tour with a trip to a few antique shops adjacent from the courthouse square. It didn’t take too long for the kids to become bored and for me to notice just how warm it was outside. We headed back to my sister’s house where we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.
I thought that I would share a little bit of historical knowledge about the town that I’m using for my novel. I spent an entire day at the Grant Count Museum in Sheridan, Arkansas, going through the museum and thumbing through many books looking for specific information. My parents still live in Prattsville, so I tend to ask my dad if he remembers this or if he can go visit that for me. Most of the time I make the road trip (45 minute drive) and do a scenic tour myself.
The town that I’m using for my novel is called Pratt. It is a real town, though it was called Pratt’s Ferry named after John Pratt. It had a very small population in the 1840’s. Later in 1857 a post office was built, officially naming the town Prattsville; the post office is still in operation today. Pratt’s Ferry was still used to cross the Saline River until a bridge was built in 1913. Prattsville today has a population of 282. It’s located on Highway 270 and 291.
Prattsville school was built in 1930, closed in 1994, and torn down in 2002. My sisters and I were students at Prattsville until it closed. The students were split between the two closest towns, Poyen and Sheridan; two towns that I also use in my novel. I re-built the school for my novel as two of the characters are school age.
Another place that I use is the restaurant that is still located in Prattsville called The Whippet. It was named after the school mascot. In my novel I changed the name of the restaurant just to be safe. But if you ever decide to visit Prattsville, be sure to stop at The Whippet and ask for their bowl of mixed beans, they’re the best! The Whippet also has a lot of other great items on the menu and the staff is wonderful and really friendly. They have a guest book next to the register for everyone to sign. I’ve noticed people from all over the world have visited there.
A few other places that I use are the city hall and a Sheriff’s station. Prattsville has a city hall, but does not have a Sheriff’s station. After doing some research from the surrounding towns, I’ve come to realize that small country towns can have Sheriff sub-stations and that’s what I’m using in my novel. The main Sheriff’s station is in Sheridan (actual fact, which I also added in my novel).