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Price Produce and Filling Station

The Price Produce and Filling Station is a complex of one-story Art Deco–style buildings at 413, 415, and 417 East Emma Avenue in Springdale (Washington and Benton counties). It was built in 1934 by Veaze Price. Price moved to Springdale from Missouri in 1923 and worked for several years with the Springdale Produce Company before deciding to open his own business.

In the early 1930s, Springdale was a shipping hub for a thriving fruit and produce industry in northwestern Arkansas. Apples were a leading crop from the late 1800s through the early 1900s. By 1930, the area also had the highest concentration of vineyards in the state. Welch’s Grape Juice factory and Nelson Wine and Distillery, both located at Springdale, took advantage of the grape industry in the region. Tomatoes, green beans, and spinach were being canned by local packing plants. Dairies and livestock operations were also prominent during this period. The poultry industry, which would become a dominant economic force in the area by mid-century, was in its beginnings.

Price’s complex was constructed about a half block east of the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway depot. Produce warehouses lined the streets near the depot, and nascent poultry companies were also nearby. Price Produce and Service Station offered a local market for produce, poultry, eggs, and cream. The business also bought cow hides, a major source of income for the Price family, according to Price’s grandson. The service station offered gas and oil service for customers’ automobiles.

The Price buildings stand out for their notable Art Deco style, which was popular in the 1920s. The Price buildings use lancet-shaped engaged pilasters as a geometric decorative element. Both the front of the main building and 417 East Emma have a smooth concrete finish that gives the sleek, modern finish that typified the Art Deco style.

The main building of the complex operated as Price Produce and Service Station through 1957. In 1959, it was listed in the Springdale City Directory as Price Produce, and by 1965 as Price Cream Station. A barbershop occupied 417 East Emma for a number of years, first as Mack’s Barber Shop, then Service Barber Shop or Jim’s Service Barber. In the twenty-first century, Yanez Alterations occupies the main building and 415 East Emma is an apartment. The building at 417 East Emma was briefly occupied by a tattoo parlor in 2014.

The complex shares the block with the Springdale Poultry Industry Historic District that includes the Tyson Office Building at 319 East Emma Avenue and Jeff Brown Hatchery Building at 317 East Emma.

For additional information:
“Price Produce and Filling Station.” 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/WA1145.nr.pdf (accessed June 11, 2015).

“Price Produce and Service Station.” Springdale News, Golden Anniversary Edition, April 29, 1937, p. 66.

Carolyn Reno
Shiloh Museum of Ozark History

Last Updated 6/19/2015

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