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Photo of family in historic clothing in front of house
Tom and Mary McGowan in front of Boyle House (1921) during 1998 Quapaw Quarter Spring Tour of Homes

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Quapaw Quarter Spring Tour of Homes
A Local Legacy

Do you think it's important to save historic houses? Some people in Little Rock, Arkansas, do. In 1961 the name "Quapaw Quarter" was established to provide a special term for the oldest and most historic section of Little Rock. The creators of the name borrowed "Quapaw" from the Quapaw Indians, who once inhabited central Arkansas. The Quapaw Quarter Association was founded in 1968 to preserve, protect, and enhance the historic buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of Quapaw Quarter and central Arkansas.

Many homes and churches were built in the Quapaw Quarter from 1870 to 1920. Unfortunately, many of these structures were destroyed during the urban development of the 1950s and '60s. The few local residents who protested these demolitions met with little success. So in 1963 they decided to establish an event that would focus attention on the great loss to the city's character and offer tours of these houses. One historic house that was not destroyed was the Villa Marre house, which was saved and restored by the Quapaw Quarter Association. This house was used in the TV show "Designing Women," and has become a nationally recognized symbol for the quality of Little Rock's historic resources. Although the show has been canceled, you can still see reruns. Pay special attention to the house. It's a beauty.

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