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The Castleberry-Harrington Historic District in Republican (Faulkner County) consists of three Mixed-Masonry houses, all rocked by mason Silas Owens Sr. of Twin Groves (Faulkner County). The district, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 2007, contains the Loyd and Willie Castleberry Cottage, the Hinkle and Ermon Castleberry House, and the Wilbur and Mary Harrington House. It is an example of a rural farm family compound featuring rockwork by Owens. The homes were built using local sandstone for economy and exhibit the typical low, Craftsman styling of rural post–World War II houses in Arkansas.
Owens was a rock mason who was well known in central Arkansas for his meticulous coursing method and his work ethic. He was a favorite among rural farm families in Faulkner, Van Buren, and White counties, but most of his buildings can be found in Faulkner County.
The first home constructed in the district was the circa 1946 Hinkle and Ermon Castleberry House. Hinkle Castleberry, a cattle farmer and egg distributor from Republican, knew Owens and was familiar with his work. Local carpenter Albert Palmer collaborated with Owens on the house and provided the stone from his Faulkner County property. The house features three arcaded porches and utilizes buff brick detail around doors, windows, and arcades—a hallmark of the Mixed-Masonry style.
The Wilbur and Mary Harrington House was built in 1949 for Hinkle and Ermon’s daughter and her husband, who worked in the family egg business. The sandstone used on this house is light in color, indicating an underground source. It features a distinct herringbone coursing pattern, which was a trait of Owens’s work. The Harrington House features a sunburst pattern of buff brick, another Owens element.
The Loyd and Willie Castleberry Cottage was built in 1950 for Hinkle’s parents. Loyd Castleberry moved from Pontotoc, Mississippi, to establish a blacksmith shop in Greenbrier (Faulkner County). Hinkle engaged Owens to apply the rockwork to the minimal two-room cottage that was his parents’ home for three years. Loyd moved his shop to Republican circa 1950 and took up farming while they lived next door to their son.
For additional information:“Castleberry-Harrington Historic District.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/FA1049.nr.pdf (accessed June 11, 2015).
Faulkner County Historical Society. Faulkner County: Its Land and People. Conway, AR: Faulkner County Historical Society, 1986.
Holly Hope Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Last Updated 6/11/2015
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