Gravette Historical Museum
In August of 1947 Gravette votes took advantage of the new Smith · Hughes Act which authorized the use of federal funds for vocational education in public schools. Gravette School Superintendent Henry Woods and the School Board approved the hiring of PW Fairbanks to construct two buildings for uses both Agricultural and Home Economics buildings.
Two war surplus Army mess hall buildings were purchased from Camp Crowder to construct the buildings for these uses. The mess halls were 25 feet wi de and120 feet in length and were purchase for a total of $75.00.
In early 1948 the buildings were disassembled and moved to Gravette and construction began on the Agricultural building and later that summer work besan on the Home Economics building.
Once complete, Vonn Reed was hired as the first Agrl Instructor and Mrs. J.D. Banks was hired as the Home Economics teacher.
Congressman Jim Trimble gave the dedication address at the open house for both buildings, which was held October 1948. The Agrl building stood next door to the east of this building and cost $11,000.00 to complete. The Home Ee building cost $8,000.00 and has a basement which housed the original bus garage.
Through the years and under the watchful eye of Gravette’s dedicated teaching staff, student’s mastered skills that would help carry them through fife. Home Ee classes taught student’s home organization, fashion design, culinary arts and early childhood education. Many of these skills would have been learned in one of the original four kitchen settings Just like this original kitchen scene port r ays. In 1981anew Home Ee building was constructed and this building became the Art Department where Ms. Betty Boutin helped students develop an appreciation for color, texture and design.
This building was purchased from the Gravette School District in 2017 by the City of Gravette, and through a grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and several private donations the City of Gravette and the Gravette Historical Museum partnered to undertake the renovation of the building saving this Important piece of Gravette history.