War Eagle Mill Arts and Crafts Fair in Rogers, AR
For a beautiful Fall festival chock full of crafts, shopping, music, craft demonstrations and scenery, look no further than the War Eagle Mill Arts and Crafts Fair.
War Eagle Mill has been through it's fair share of trauma, destruction, and chaos. The Blackburn family settled on the land that would become the War Eagle Mill in 1832. in 1848, a rainy season flooded the valley and completely washed away the original Mill, but the family was able to rebuild in 1860, as soon as the waters receded, and expanded the structure to accommodate new people moving into the area and needing lumber for houses. In 1862, the Union Army moved into the War Eagle Valley and used the Mill to grind grain for food, but the Mill was eventually burned to the ground as a military tactic by the Confederate Army against the Union.
After the war in 1865, the Blackburn family returned to find their home still standing, but the Mill gone again. This time, one of the family's sons, James Austin Cameron Blackburn, took on the task of rebuilding the Mill, which was finished in 1873, and added a newer, more powerful grinding machine using a turbine engine as opposed to the water wheel previously used. This made the Mill more successful, and earned J.A.C. the title 'Lumber King'. He later ran for Arkansas Senate and won, and sold the property to the Kilgore family. They operated the Mill until it burned down again in 1924, where only the foundation and building remnants were left.
Nearly 50 years later, the Mill was purchased by Mr. Jewel Medlin, intrigued by the Mill foundation and the rich history of the property. He and his wife Leta and daughter Zoe searched and found blueprints for the third Mill and took on the task of rebuilding it a fourth time. The family modified the design to bring back the water wheel the Blackburns had used over 100 years earlier. The same water wheel has been powering the Mill from 1973 to today. The War Eagle Mill is the only working Mill in the state of Arkansas, and it is believed to be the only mill powered by a water wheel in the United States. To this day, guests can come and witness the beauty of the Mill, and watch demonstrations of actual grinding being done on site.
The War Eagle Mill Arts and Crafts Fair has been an event that attracts masses for years. The event only allows handcrafted items to be sold in the booths that completely fill the fair, except of course for the great selection of food that surrounds you! The Craft Fair takes place on both sides of a one-lane bridge over the War Eagle Creek. Homemade crafts and decorations fill massive tents everywhere you look, and you'll wish your wallet was as big as the tents that hold so many wonderful things.
In the shops, you can see and purchase seasonal items, as well as lodge decor, doll clothes, and stained glass and metal wall hangings. The vast variety of shops and wares is astounding, filling the valley with tents and people for as far as one can see. Some of the other wares you might find in the tents are folk art, pottery, watercolor and oil paintings, hand-made ribbon and burlap wreaths for Christmas or Halloween, quilts and bedding, potpourris and candles, jewelry made from broken China dishes, carved moose antlers, bird feeders and houses, and many more from participants that come from all over the United States to show off their crafts and meet the many festival-goers that visit the Craft Fair. Many craftsmen also offer live demonstrations of their art for guests and passers-by to watch.
Crafts and shopping aren't the only things that you can do while you're at the War Eagle Mill Arts and Crafts Fair. There is a staggering amount of food trucks and places to stop and enjoy the scenery of the War Eagle Valley and Creek. Choose from options like smoked turkey legs, BBQ sandwiches, polish sausage, fresh made kettle corn, chocolate dipped cheesecake, hand-dipped corn dogs, funnel cakes, and strawberry crepes. The War Eagle Mill Bean Palace Restaurant serves a full country breakfast from the third floor of the Mill for you and your friends and family to enjoy. This full breakfast includes biscuits and gravy, eggs, and sausage or bacon. The Bean Palace Restaurant also serves a lunch of War Eagle beans and cornbread, made with cornmeal ground on the very buhr mill that operates below the restaurant. The entire menu is extensive, so you will want to stop by!
The War Eagle Mill has been a history-filled site and attraction for years, and offers great shopping, amazing food choices, and the beautiful scenery of the Ozarks as you've never seen before. When making a list of Fall festivals you would like to see, make this a priority on that list. It is well worth the visit, and you will be wanting to come back year after year.