131 Main Street, Calico Rock AR 72519 | 870-297-4129 | Copyright 2007-2016, Calico Rock Area Chamber of Commerce. All Rights Reserved.
|Calico Rock Area Chamber of Commerce
131 Main Street, Calico Rock AR 72519
Alternating streaks of color in blue, black, gray, red,
and orange - like calico cloth – are the markings on
bluffs looming over the White River in an area of north
central Arkansas known as Calico Rock.
Located directly on the White River in Izard County,
Calico Rock developed as a steamboat landing in the
early 1800s, and became a boomtown in 1902 when the
railroad tracks were laid. It was the largest town in
Izard County through the 1960s. However, neighboring
towns grew faster, leaving this once important river
port with a population of about 1,500 today.
But Calico Rock still has plenty of appeal for visitors,
and all ages making it their home. It is a draw
especially to retirees and tourists looking for a breath
of fresh air, small town living, and tons of trout. Its
ghost town and attractive, old-fashioned downtown
storefronts entertain visitors too.
Its historic Main Street hosts thousands of visitors each
year. Brick and stone buildings from the 1920s flank
the street for a few blocks. They are home to antique
stores, a museum and various stores. Additional
shopping is available in more modern parts of town.
Calico Rock Museum houses collections and displays
exhibits beginning with the American Indian culture to
about 1967 that are historically and culturally
significant to the town and area. It’s located in the
historic Bank of Calico Rock building.
Just steps away from this historic but thriving town
center, is another lifetime of the town preserved. Calico
Rock’s Ghost Town include a pool hall/tavern, a barber
shop, a theater, a café, a lumberyard, the telephone
exchange, a cotton gin, a funeral parlor, and an electric
company. The tour contains more than 20 different
buildings and other structures, dilapidated yet holding a
significant presence in the oldest part of town. All but
two can be seen from the street and markers tell the
history of each. You can drive it, but it’s best seen on
foot. Download a self-guided tour map here.
This area is also part of Peppersauce Alley, although the
original trade that gave it its name is no longer there.
Calico Rock was a quite a shopping center in the early
1900s with a sawmill, and water-powered corn-grinding
mill. Farmers would bring produce to Calico Rock and
do their shopping there. Often they came from far
enough away they would need to camp overnight in the
wagon yard, which became known as Peppersauce Alley
because of the moonshine whiskey traded there.
Numerous annual events take place in this great
downtown backdrop. Musicians are finding their way to
this small town to play the festival events or at the town
Lodging runs the gamut from motels on Main Street to
motels and cabins on or overlooking the river. Hiking
and biking trails are located in parks in the middle of
town and fishing is hot here.
The White River is known as an excellent trout fishery.
Numerous outfitters serve the area, offering guided
fishing trips or boat rentals.