Photo of HAMIL Block Pocahontas Arkansas

102 W. Everett Street

Constructed in 1884, this two story building was one of the largest in downtown Pocahontas and had an ornate front, facing the corner, and a faux balustrade making the building appear much taller. It originally housed the Hamil Mercantile, a large dry goods store owned by ‘Uncle’ Bob Hamil.

In the middle of the 20th Century for several decades the building was home to King’s (Jim and Hattie) Department Store, the City’s largest clothing store with Vernon King’s law office occupying part of the second floor. In the late 1960’s and early 1970s, the occupant was Hunt’s Department Store, a statewide chain. Since that time, the building has housed an antique store, a bookstore, and several downtown restaurants.

In the late 1930s, King’s Department Store installed the first neon sign in Pocahontas. People then regularly drove to the square to sit and watch the colors change.

The first paved street in Pocahontas (the streets previously were dirt and often muddy when the rains came) was what became U. S. Highway 67 that originally ran through the downtown area before the City built the Highway 67 by-pass in 1947. Until that time, the highway entered the downtown area where the old Marr’s Creek bridge stands today on S. Bettis Street, turned the sharp corner to the left between Bettis and Broadway streets for one block, then turned to the right at the corner of Broadway and Marr streets and ran past this building and north several blocks to where Marr Street now intersects with the Highway 67 by-pass. The state paved this portion of the highway through downtown in 1931. Mayor Warren Blankenship then paved the rest of the streets around the old court square in 1932. The downtown sidewalks are much older—some dating back to the 1880s.