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— Persons who visit Old Town Park are able to see progress on the restoration of the historic steps that lead from the top of the hill near Highway 72 to the bottom in the tree shaded park valley.

Junior Hartley, who has been the driving force behind the project, said that the step project is nearing completion.

“Thirty-five steps have been completed. There are about five or six remaining to be poured, once the concrete forms are put inplace.”

Members of the Sheriff’s inmate work program have been instrumental in helping move the project forward.

“Their efforts have saved us labor costs and will enable us to also construct sidewalks, not only at the upper part of the steps but also leading away from the bottom step,” Hartley said.

When the final steps are poured a handrail will be put in place. Possibly we can install a rest bench midway along the steps,Hartley said.

The project to restore the steps, which were constructed during the Depression era of the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, was financed through a donation campaign with individuals and firms contributing to the cost.

Hartley said the outpouring of interest and donations shows people have a great deal of pride and interest in preserving the history of Gravette.

He said, “Old Town Parkis such a pretty place and I would like to see it used more.”

He said he hopes to be able to use some steel legs from the old water tower, which was recently demolished, to construct a bridge across Walnut Creek which runs through the park. “This will make the park area more accessible for people to use,” he said, and someday the Gravette Day picnic could be down there where it used to be held.”

He said he would like to again thank everyone whohas made this project possible.

Donations in the amount of $100 per step were made by the following:

JGT Club, 2 steps; Louise Russow; John & Frances Meade, 5 steps; Bonnie June Davidson, 2 steps; Gary & Jean Phipps; Melvin & Betty Roberts; Bob and Leona Stinnette; Albert & Jane Dunagin; John & Ona Foster, 2 steps; Boy Scout Troop #117; GHS Class of 1951;

Vera Crockett, David & Tena Crockett; Jack& Linda Haynes; Petra-Stone, 4 steps; Kenneth Kerr Family; Charles W. Garman; Historic Kindley House; Gravette Historical Museum; Frances Morris Talley; Alton C. & Elizabeth Morris Manning; Mrs. Joe P. (Carolyn) Morris, Jr.; Class of 1953 (Alberta Roark);

Clyde & Francis Barrett; Frank & KayVee Spiva; Betty & Leland Brandon; Class of 1944; Class of 1946: David Wills; Class of 1979; Class of 1963, 2 steps; Class of 1964; Brent Cannon, 2 steps; and Sue Stumbo.

News, Pages 7 on 12/09/2009

Print Headline: IN OLD TOWN PARK - Steps Taking Giant Steps

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