103 N. Marr Street

The structure in this enclosed alley was built in 1893 and has housed a barber shop ever since—the oldest continuously operating barber shop in Arkansas. The business was named “Sanitary” because it furnished each regular customer with his own individually identified shaving mug which was kept on a shelf along the wall. This prevented germs from being transferred from customer to customer during shaves.

Customers in the first half of the 20th Century typically had shaves and shampoos in addition to hair cuts at the barber shop. They also frequently had their shoes shined by Mable Johnson whose shoe shine stand is preserved today at the Eddie Mae Heron Center—a museum of local African American culture and history at 1708 Archer Street.

The shop still operates today and visitors can experience there the authentic late 19th Century and 20th Century ambiance of a fixture of community life and even get their hair cut as well.