Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ennis, TX

Ennis, Texas is famous for the bluebonnets that blanket the hills around the town every spring, drawing about 50,000 visitors each year to an annual festival during the third weekend of April. The Ennis Garden Club has laid out 42 miles of trails that the Texas Legislature named "The Official Bluebonnet Trail of Texas." The club provides free maps of trails through fertile farmlands and rolling hills where bluebonnets cover miles of grasslands. The club members provide information on the best areas for viewing the bluebonnets and other wildflowers. The bluebonnet was named for its striking resemblance to the sunbonnets of pioneer women.

Bluebonnets are not the only source of pride in Ennis, which celebrates its Czech heritage each Memorial Day with the National Polka Festival. It is the state flower of Texas for which Ennis is best known. The sweet-smelling blooms were beloved by the American Indians long before the Czech settlers arrived. A Comanche legend about the origin of the bluebonnets tells of the tribe’s struggle with starvation, cold, and disease. The Great Spirit told the chieftains that their most valued and cherished possessions should be burned and scattered to the four winds as an offering. A little American Indian princess overheard the council and sacrificed her beautiful doll with a headdress from a blue jay. The next morning, where the ashes had fallen, there was a beautiful spread of blue flowers the same shade as the blue jay’s feather. Regardless of how the flowers came to Texas, the bonnet-shaped blooms are a state treasure, especially in Ennis.

To see how Melanie Gentle, Village Prints artist, has preserved the historical heritage of Ennis, click on the Ennis, TX page. These prints make excellent gifts for all occasions--Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, and other events.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Corsicana, Texas

Is anyone reading this blog who grew up in Corsicana, Texas? Did you know that your hometown was named by Jose Antonio Navarro, a famous Texas statesman, who was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence . The county is named for Navarro. When he was asked to name the town, his response was "Call it Corsicana in honor of the island of Corsica, the birthplace of my father." The Corsicana/Navarro County Chamber of Commerce reveals more interesting tidbits about their famous town. Anyone looking for Corsicana art can see Michelle Rideout's beautiful pencil drawing of the town by clicking on this link: These limited-edition prints make excellent gifts for any occasion. Many people purchase one for each of their children and grandchildren. Anyone who grew up in Corsicana, TX and later moved away will treasure one because it brings a little bit of home back to them.

If you are from Corsicana, TX, you surely know about the town's famous fruit cake. Corsicana is best known for its Corsicana fruit cake, baked by the famous Collin Street Bakery and marketed under the name "Deluxe." The cake is possibly the world´s most famous and is shipped each year to every state in the nation and more than 290 foreign countries. I have visited the Collin Street Bakery several times and enjoyed their delicious cakes.

Corsicana is also famous because oil was first discovered west of the Mississippi River in this Texas town by a drilling firm that was searching for water for the growing town. Thus, Corsicana became the first Texas oil boom town. Corsicana was the site of the first use of crude oil as fuel for locomotives. The state's first oil refinery--known today as Mobil Oil was built in Corsicana. The Texas Company, Texaco also traces its origin to Corsicana. Russell Stover Candy Company built its largest plant in Corsicana. Russell Stover is the nation's largest handmade candy company.

Corsicana, Texas is just one of the towns that the Village Prints artists have captured on paper. Village Prints has completed pencil drawings of more than 300 towns in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas and has produced limited-edition prints of these drawings. The originals are pencil drawings, featuring composites of outstanding landmarks and historical buildings such as those in Corsicana, Texas.

Art prints, which portray the historical and architectural heritage of Corsicana, Texas, quickly become collectors' items. Each print is signed and numbered. The prints are especially appropriate for professional offices. Some professional people have collected all of the prints of their particular regions.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pencil Drawing of Fayetteville, Arkansas

Michelle Thompson Rideout created this drawing of Fayetteville, Arkansas, which was used as a fundraiser to benefit the Children's House, a nonprofit, therapeutic day treatment center for preschool children who have been extremely neglected, and/or physically, emotionally or sexually abused. The Fayetteville civic club that sponsored this project had this to say about artist, Michelle Rideout:

"Michelle Thompson Rideout is fast becoming a modern day Norman Rockwell. Concentrating on towns of the South, she is one of the region's most prolific artists in capturing small town Americana.”

Rideout graduated from the University of North Alabama with a bachelor of science degree in graphic design. Soon afterwards she began working with her father, Tommy Thompson, also known for his sketches of Southern towns.

Rideout's composite pencil drawings reveal a meticulous attention to detail, which gives a delicate quality to the overall print. Her prints have often been used for fundraisers, raising money around the country and receiving greater prominence through features in national magazines.

Rideout has done drawings of the homes of the late record producer Sam Phillips and late author Alex Haley. Because her art prints are limited editions, they represent an investment that increases in value with time.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Art Print of Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was founded by William H. Hardy, a pioneer lumberman and civil engineer, who named the town in honor of his wife, Hattie. The town expanded as a center of the lumber and railroad industries, from which it derived its nickname of "The Hub City." It now attracts newcomers to the area because of its diverse economy, strong neighborhoods, and central location in south Mississippi.

The town is the home to the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. South of Hattiesburg is Camp Shelby, the largest National Guard training base east of the Mississippi River. Notable residents include Jimmy Buffett, musician; Brett Favre, former National Football League quarterback; and Eddie Hodges, actor and singer. Prints of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, can be purchased from Village Prints at

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday Shopping

Girls, while your husband or significant other is absorbed in the Super Bowl game, why not go shopping online at Village Prints? You will find limited-edition prints (published on parchtone paper) of more than 300 towns across 12 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. A few of the towns that you will find on the web site are Bristol, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; North Little Rock, Arkansas; Palatka, Florida; Camilla, Georgia; Due West, South Carolina; Kannapolis, North Carolina; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Bunkie, Louisiana; Yazoo City, Mississippi; Hayti, Missouri; and Corsicana, Texas. These prints make excellent gifts for any occasion; some people present them to their friends and relatives as they retire, for birthday or valentine gifts, or any other reason.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Henderson, Tennessee Drawing

One of Tommy Thompson's daughters, Michelle Rideout, created the pencil drawing of the town of Henderson, Tennessee. Rideout is known for her meticulous attention to detail in drawing and this one is a good example.

Henderson, Tennessee, was founded in the 1850s as a railroad stop on the Mobile Railroad. Most of the town was built around the railroad, but a college caused growth as well. Freed-Hardeman University was founded in Henderson in 1907.

Henderson has had several interesting natives who made an impression upon our nation. Sue Shelton White became one of the great leaders of the Woman's Right to Vote Movement of the early 1900s. She later helped design the U.S. Social Security System under the Roosevelt Administration.

Henderson's most famous son is country music singer and songwriter, Eddy Arnold, who was born in Henderson in 1918. Arnold was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966.

To purchase one of the limited-edition prints of Henderson, Tennessee, please check out

Cleveland, Tennessee Drawing

Cleveland was established in 1837 as a county seat for Bradley County, which had been created the previous year. The town was named after Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, a commander at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolution. Cleveland, TN, is the fifth largest industrial city in the state with 12 Fortune 500 manufacturers. A few of the products that are manufactured in Cleveland include Coca Cola, Dasani Water, M&M Mars, Coppertone, Dr. Scholl products, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Tappan appliance, Catnapper recliners, and Duracell batteries. Cleveland is home to Lee University and Cleveland State College. Lee is the second largest privately owned university in the state, second only to Vanderbilt. To order a print of Cleveland, TN, click here:

Adamsville, TN Drawing

Adamsville, Tennessee, is located at the crossroads of Highway 64 and Highway 22 in southwest Tennessee. Adamsville is a thriving community with many amenities and all the charm of Southern living without the big city problems. This town has easy access to Memphis, Nashville, and Jackson, TN; Corinth and Tupelo, MS; and Florence, AL. To order a print of Adamsville, TN, click here:


Due West, South Carolina

Due West is a town in Abbeville County, South Carolina. Due West is the home of Erskine College, a private Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. To order a print of Due West, SC, please click here:

Greenwood, South Carolina Drawing

Greenwood is located in the Lower Piedmont region of Upstate South Carolina. The city provides a friendly, small-town setting along with the progressive and active environment of a larger city. Greenwood is the home to Lake Greenwood, Lander University, and Piedmont Technical College. Every year in June, Greenwood hosts the South Carolina "Festival of Flowers." The festival was originally started in 1968 as an outgrowth of Park Seed Corporation's annual Grower Days, and Park Seed remains a major sponsor of the festival. The Festival has also included jazz concerts, Cessna flights for children, world food, a showcase for classic cars, and a dog show. This event draws many gardening enthusiasts from around the nation. To order a print of Greenwood, SC, click here:

Bennettsville, South Carolina Drawing

Founded in 1819 and named after Governor Thomas Bennett, Bennettsville quickly grew into one of the richest agricultural communities in the entire state. Legend has it that the land was so rich it once sold by the pound instead of the acre. To order a print of Bennettsville, SC, please click here:

Monroe, North Carolina Drawing

My wife Marie and I enjoyed a visit to the beautiful town of Monroe, North Carolina. Everyone we met was so friendly and helpful. We enjoyed meeting people like Helen Thomas of the First Citizens Bank, who is also president of the Breakfast Rotary Club. Matthew Sganga, chef/owner of Stone Table Cafe and Catering in Nottingham Plaza fed us well.

The pencil drawing of Monroe was done by our daughter, Michelle, whose work has been published in national civic magazines. She has been called "one of the South’s most prolific artists in capturing small town Americana." Her interest in art was sparked while she was a small child looking over her father’s shoulder as he was drawing. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in graphic design; soon afterwards she began working with her father, Tommy Thompson, also known for his sketches of Southern towns. The artist's composite pencil drawings reveal a meticulous attention to detail, which gives a delicate quality to the overall print. Her prints have often been used for fundraisers, raising money around the country and receiving greater prominence through features in national magazines. She also produced drawings of the homes of the late record producer Sam Phillips and late author Alex Haley. To order a print of Monroe, please click here: 

Terry, Mississippi Drawing

The area that would eventually become known as “Terry” was first settled in 1811 by settlers from Virginia.  In 1867, the town of Terry was established when the railroad was built through the area. Terry is a town in Hinds County, Mississippi, located near Interstate 55, about 15 miles southwest of Jackson. Terry is the birthplace of the influential blues musician Tommy Johnson, who had claimed to have sold his soul to the devil at a secluded Mississippi crossroads in exchange for fame and fortune, a legend that was later popularized by its attribution to bluesman Robert Johnson. To order a print of Terry, MS, click here:

Sardis, Mississippi Drawing

Sardis is a town in Panola County, Mississippi. Sardis is one of two county seats for Panola County. The other is Batesville. Located on the Little Tallahatchie River, Sardis Lake is a 98,520-acre water resource development project occupying parts of three North Mississippi counties. The dam site is nine miles southeast of the town of Sardis and is approximately an hour’s drive from Memphis, Tennessee. Sardis Dam was the first of the Yazoo Headwaters Projects to be built. Authorization for the project came when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Flood Control Act of 1936. Construction took 4 years and required thousands of men to clear 14 miles along the Little Tallahatchie River, which was characterized by dense woods and undergrowth, and meandering sloughs. Annual visitation to Sardis Lake tops 5 million people. The lake is popular with anglers and has a reputation for its abundant bass and crappie. Other recreation activities include hunting, camping, boating, skiing, swimming and picnicking. Its proximity to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) makes it popular with students.To order a print of Sardis, MS, click here:

Ripley, Mississippi Drawing

Ripley is a city in Tippah County, Mississippi. It is the county seat of Tippah County. Colonel William Clark Falkner, great-grandfather of author William Faulkner, was a prominent resident of Ripley in the mid- to late- 19th century. Ripley is the home of the First Monday Trade Day held the weekend prior to the first Monday of every month, one of the oldest outdoor flea markets in the United States. It started around the turn of the century at the old square but is now held south of Ripley along Highway 15 across from the Tippah County Fair Grounds.To order a print of Ripley, MS, click here:

Jackson, Mississippi Drawing

Jackson is the capital and the most populous city of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County (the town of Raymond is the other). Jackson is ranked third out of America's 100 largest metro areas for the best "Bang For Your Buck" city according to Forbes magazine. The study measured overall affordability, housing rates, and more. The city is named for Andrew Jackson, who was still a general at the time of the naming but later became president. To order a print of Jackson, MS, click here:

Columbia, Mississippi Drawing

Columbia, MS, was first settled by John and William Lott in the early 19th century, giving the town its original name, Lott's Bluff. It was incorporated as Columbia in 1819. It served as the temporary capital of Mississippi until Jackson was selected as the permanent capital. Former Mississippi governor and Columbia native Hugh L. White introduced white squirrels to the area, and they are still common in Columbia City Park. In the mid- 1930s, Columbia became the historic “Home of Mississippi Rodeo.” The first rodeo of 1935 was held at Columbia’s City Park and is now known in rodeo history as the world’s first outdoor night rodeo held under electric lights. In 1936, Mississippi’s first permanent rodeo arena was constructed in Columbia. To this day, rodeo remains a popular sport in Columbia and Marion County. To order a print of Columbia, MS, click here:

Madisonville, Kentucky Drawing

Madisonville, KY, was founded in 1807 and named for James Madison (who was then Secretary of State). Madisonville was named the county seat of Hopkins County in 1808 and was incorporated in 1810. The courthouse in Madisonville was burned by Confederates in 1864, as they passed through western Kentucky. The policies imposed by the occupying Union armies caused resentment and sparked sympathy for the Confederate cause. Farming was the major occupation in Hopkins County for most of the 1800s, with tobacco as the leading crop. Around 1837 an outcropping of coal was discovered and the first coal mine in the county opened in 1869. Mining did not become a major industry until the Louisville & Nashville Railroad pushed its line southward from Henderson through Madisonville and toward Nashville in 1870. By the early 1900s, Madisonville was a rail hub, coal mining center, and had a large tobacco market. This continued until the 1960s when manufacturing and service industries came to the area. To order a print of Madisonville, KY, click here:

Franklin, KY Drawing

Franklin, KY, was founded on November 2, 1820 on a 62-acre tract of land. This land was purchased from William Hudspeth and was named for Benjamin Franklin. The post office was established on September 29, 1822, with Robert W. Simpson as postmaster. To order a print of Franklin, KY, please go to:

Bowling Green, KY

Bowling Green, Kentucky, is the third most populous city in the state of Kentucky, after Louisville and Lexington. Bowling Green is located in southern Kentucky, 110 miles south of Louisville and 55 miles north of Nashville, TN. The city was officially incorporated by the State of Kentucky in 1798. General Motors has an assembly plant in Bowling Green in which all Chevrolet Corvettes have been constructed since 1981. Other significant businesses in Bowling Green include Fruit of the Loom and Camping World. The third largest Kentucky public university, Western Kentucky University, is located in Bowling Green. To order a print of Bowling Green, Ky, please click here:  

Louisville, GA Drawing

Louisville is a city in Jefferson County, Georgia. It is the former capital of Georgia and is the county seat of Jefferson County. It is located southwest of Augusta on the Ogeechee River. Louisville was laid out in 1786 as a prospective state capital since Savanah was considered too far from the center of the growing state. It was named for Louis XVI, who was still the king of France and had aided the Continentals during the successful American Revolution. Development of the city began later, and its state buildings were completed in 1795. The city of Louisville served as the state capital of Georgia from 1796 to 1806. Louisville's historic market house still stands in the center of downtown. The original market had sections for everything from produce and household goods to slaves. The market square became the hub of the transportation routes that centered on Louisville when the state capital was located there. To order a print of Louisville, GA, click here:

Sylvania, GA Drawing

The European-American town of Sylvania was founded in 1790 by settlers' migrating to the area after the American Revolutionary War. It was part of the Black Belt of Georgia, developed for cultivation after the cotton gin made it easier to handle short-fiber cotton. Cotton was the most important commodity crop until late in the 19th century. Planters imported many enslaved African Americans to cultivate the crops. The county seat was moved from Jacksonborough to Sylvania in 1847. Sylvania calls itself the "Azalea and Dogwood City." The area was inhabited for thousands of years by various cultures of indigenous peoples. By the time of European encounter, historic tribes included Iroquoian-speaking Cherokee, as well as Siouan-speaking tribes. To order a print of Sylvania, GA print, click here:

Hawkinsville, GA Drawing

Pulaski County was originally the capital of the Creek Indian Confederacy.  Attracted by the lush countryside and abundant wildlife, the area was home to the Creeks until the turn of the nineteenth century when treaties declared the land American territory.  Located on the banks of the Ocmulgee River, the town quickly became a thriving trading post for Native Americans who lived to the west. General Andrew Jackson camped here with his army troops on the way to fight the Seminoles in Florida.  In memory of the famous general, a large boulder with a bronze tablet bearing the inscription, "General Jackson's Trail 1818," can be seen on what is now the corner of Broad and Jackson Streets. To order a print of Hawkiinsville, GA, please click here:

Gainesville, GA Drawing

Established as "Mule Camp Springs" near the crossing of two Indian trails followed by settlers in the 1800s, the City of Gainesville has maintained and built upon its historical legacy as a regional transportation and trade center for almost two centuries. Less than three years after the creation of Hall County, the village of Mule Camp Springs was chosen to serve as the site of government for the new county. The city was given the name "Gainesville" in honor of General Edmund P. Gaines, a hero of the War of 1812 and a noted military surveyor and road-builder. To order a print of Gainesville, GA, click here:

Palatka, Florida Drawing

Palatka is a city in Putnam County, Florida. It is the county seat of Putnam County. The city is also home to St. Johns River State College, St. Johns River Water Management District Headquarters, and Ravine Gardens State Park. The area is well known for its local festivals, most notably the Florida Azalea Festival and the Blue Crab Festival.To order a print of Palatka, Florida, please check out this link:

Smackover, Arkansas, Drawing

Smackover is home to the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources. The Museum depicts the history and culture of Smackover and the surrounding area with an indoor reconstruction of downtown Smackover, an Oil Field Park, and numerous exhibits illustrating South Arkansas's oil industry. Smackover hosts an annual four-day Oil Town Festival held in June. Smackover was home to a rough-and-tumble oil boom camp. It began in February 1923 when a man leased 1,000 feet of farmland. In June 1923 there was a huge flood, which covered the main street with 10 feet of water. Most of the inhabitants moved away permanently and no trace of the settlement remains today. To order a Smackover, AR print, please check out

Siloam Springs, AR Drawing

Siloam Springs' earliest history dates to 1835 when Simon Sager settled on a farm one mile west of what is now the City of Siloam Springs. The 28 springs along the creek were named in his honor, "Sager Creek." His original dwelling has been restored and is now located on the campus of John Brown University. The first settlement was called Hico, and in 1884 Caldeen D. Gunter settled there. At about this time the Hico Post Office was established. This was later moved to Siloam City (Siloam Springs). Hico was a prominent trading post with the Cherokee nation and consisted of two stores and a mill. In 1879 it was discovered that the waters contained medicinal qualities and the establishment of a summer resort began. The first anniversary of the town was celebrated on the 24th of June. In March 1880, J.V. Hargrove laid out the original plat of Siloam City. The name was later changed to Siloam Springs. Due to the reputation gained as a summer resort and the prospect of the railroad through town, the town was incorporated during its first year of existence on December 22, 1881, with a population of over 3,000. After this initial "boom" many of the transient residents returned to their homes and the population dwindled to about half. This was the only time in the history of the town that the population dwindled so rapidly. To order a print of Siloam Springs, Ar, click here:

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Known only as "opposite Little Rock" until the Civil War, North Little Rock grew as a crossroads that linked river and overland traffic. In 1866, surveyed and platted, an unincorporated town of mills, factories, hotels and saloons became known as the town of Argenta. In 1890, the community of Argenta filed papers to incorporate as a city. However, Argenta's southern neighbor, across the Arkansas River, quickly passed legislation to annex the little town and make it the eighth ward of that city. Years later a group of north side businessmen led by William C. Faucette (who was elected to the Arkansas state legislature) introduced a bill to allow a new city to be created by annexing the eighth ward of Little Rock. In 1903 North Little Rock and Argenta town residents voted to merge. Little Rock mounted a court challenge, but on February 6, 1904, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the 1903 merger of North Little Rock and Argenta (named for silver mines), with more than 8,000 residents. In January 1906 North Little Rock changed its name to Argenta, but in October 1917 renamed itself back to North Little Rock. Visit the History and Historic Commission's page for information on historic buildings, landmarks and sites, learn more about the colorful stories of the people and places that shaped the North Little Rock of today. To order a print of North Little Rock, AR, check out this link:

Murfreesboro, Arkansas Drawing

Murfreesboro is a city in Pike County, Arkansas. Crater of Diamonds State Park is located just to the south of the city. The "crater" is an eroded lamproite pipe where diamonds were discovered in 1906. 100,000 were found by 1933, and visitors to the park may still take away whatever they can find. Hillary Clinton wore a 4.25 carat (850 mg) yellow diamond known as The "Kahn Canary" Diamond, found at the park in 1977, to the inaugural balls in 1993 and 1997. Also located in Murfreesboro is the 1,000-year-old Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village and museum, which offers a field that can be excavated for authentic arrowheads. To order a print of Murfreesboro, AR, click here:

Lincoln, Arkansas Drawing

Lincoln is home to the Annual Arkansas Apple Festival, held every year in the first weekend of October. For many years, it has attracted visitors to the area who come to see the arts and crafts of the Ozarks. Apple growing was once a major agricultural industry in Lincoln, but has recently declined due to changing climate conditions and high costs of upkeep. The city of Lincoln was founded in 1907, and recently hosted a centennial celebration in July 2007. Lincoln is also home to the Arkansas Country Doctor Museum, which includes a collection of medical instruments and personal artifacts from the 1930 to 1960. To order a print of Lincoln, Arkansas, check out this link:

Jacksonport, Arkansas Drawing

Jacksonport is a town in Jackson County, Arkansas, along the White River at its confluence with the Black River. Jacksonport was once an important steamboat stop on the White River. During the Civil War the town served as a transportation hub for Confederate forces. To order a Jacksonport, AR print, please check out this link:

Birmingham, AL Drawing

Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama, founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. It grew from there, annexing many more of its smaller neighbors, into an industrial and railroad transportation center with a focus on mining, the iron and steel industry, and railroading. Birmingham was named for Birmingham, England, one of the major industrial cities of the United Kingdom.

From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the South. The pace of Birmingham's growth during the period from 1881 through 1920 earned its nicknames, "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South." Much like Pittsburgh, Birmingham's major industries were iron and steel production, plus a major component of the railroading industry, where rails and railroad cars were both manufactured in Birmingham. Though the manufacturing industry maintains a strong presence in Birmingham, other businesses and industries such as banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, and insurance have risen in stature. Birmingham ranks as one of the most important business centers in the Southeastern United States and is also one of the largest banking centers in the United States. In addition, the Birmingham area serves as headquarters to one Fortune 500 company: Regions Financial. Five Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Birmingham. To order a print of Birmingham, AL, please check this out:

Athens, AL Drawing

Athens is located in the center of Northern Alabama, 15 miles from the Tennessee State line in historic Limestone County. While Athens has an agricultural history, in recent years Athens has attracted major industry that has diversified the population. Education is a source of pride in the community, with its award-winning public school system and Athens State University, which has been in operation since the 1800s. With all the diversification Athens has to offer, no wonder Athens is a city of Southern Splendor.To purchase a print of Athens, AL, check this out:

Gravette, AR Drawing

The original name of the first European settlement at this location was Nebo. The Nebo area is now referred to as Old Town in Chalk Valley and was the earliest pioneer settlement of the community. Ellis Tillman Gravett opened the Chalk Valley Distillery in Nebo and was also the proprietor of a general merchandise store. In 1891, he moved that store west out of the valley to what is now downtown Gravette. To order a print of Gravette, AR, check out this link:

Conway, AR Drawing

The city of Conway was founded by Asa P. Robinson, who came to Conway shortly after the Civil War. Robinson was the chief engineer for the Little Rock-Fort Smith Railroad (now the Union Pacific). Part of his compensation was the deed to a tract of land, one square mile, located near the old settlement of Cadron. When the railroad came through, Robinson deeded a small tract of his land back to the railroad for a depot site. He laid out a town site around the depot and named it Conway Station, in honor of a famous Arkansas family. Conway Station contained two small stores, two saloons, a depot, some temporary housing and a post office.To order a Conway, AR, print, check out:


Clarksville, AR Drawing

Clarksville, Arkansas, is located in a central, beautiful area of Arkansas, strategically located on I-40 in the Arkansas River Valley. The town borders the Arkansas River and Lake Dardanelle to the south and the Ozark National Forest to the north.
Clarksville offers its residents outdoor adventure, small-town environment, low cost of living, and outstanding recreational opportunities. Spadra Creek, a tributary that runs into the Arkansas River, traverses through the heart of downtown Clarksville and is known for the adjacent walking trail where people walk, run, bicycle, bird watch, and picnic. The Ozark National Forest and the many lakes, rivers, and streams provide an abundance of opportunities for outdoor activities. To order a Clarksville, AR print, check this out:

Appleby School Drawing, Florence, AL

On October 15, 2008, we had the pleasure of speaking with the great grandson of F. T. Appleby, for whom the Appleby School of Florence, Alabama, was named. The School was named to honor Appleby, who was superintendent from 1917 to 1932. The building is the original Coffee High School. Florence Junior High School, built in 1936 on the lot adjoining Coffee High, had housed all junior high classes until 1951 when the new high school was built on its present location. The old high school building was then converted into an elementary school. Upon completion of Richard School in 1961, all the elementary grades were moved to that school. Both the old high school building and the junior high school are now used as junior high schools. This building had several fires, and in the 1980's it was badly burned. It has been razed, and the University of North Alabama tennis courts now occupy the area.

Tommy Thompson completed a drawing of Appleby School during the 1980s prior to the razing of the school.To purchase one of the Appleby prints pictured above, click here:

Florence, AL Drawing

Florence is the county seat of Lauderdale County, Alabama, in the northwestern corner of the state. Florence is the largest and principal city of the "The Shoals," which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties. Florence is considered the primary economic hub of northwestern Alabama.

Florence is renowned for its annual tourism events, including W.C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.

Florence was surveyed for the Cypress Land Company in 1818 by Italian surveyor Ferdinand Sannoner, who named it after Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region of Italy. Florence, Alabama was incorporated in 1826.

Some of the notable people who have lived in Florence, AL, include W.C. Handy, trumpeter, Father of the Blues; Stewart Cink, PGA golfer, 2009 British Open Champion; Sam Phillips, record producer, discovered Elvis Presley; Donna Jean Godchaux, singer, The Grateful Dead; George W. Goethals, chief engineer on the Panama Canal; Kelvin Holly, musician, guitarist for Little Richard, The Amazing Rhythm Aces; Patterson Hood, guitarist, singer and songwriter for Drive-By Truckers; John Paul White,guitarist, singer and songwriter for Grammy Award winning duo, The Civil Wars; Billy Reid, fashion designer; Dred Scott, of the Dred Scott vs. Sanford case; Whitney Boddie, WNBA basketball player; Josh Willingham, major league baseball player, Minnesota Twins; and John Coffee, General during the War of 1812. To order one of the Florence, AL prints, check out this page:

Concord, NC Drawing

When the new county of Cabarrus, North Carolina, was formed, there was controversy over the selection of the county seat. Finally, a compromise was reached and a new city was formed in 1796. The city was to be located on a 26-acre site and was to be called Concord, which means harmony. The founders felt the name appropriate since there was a coming together of the two factions to create the city. Concord was incorporated in 1806.

The Village Prints drawing of Concord depicts several historical landmarks such as the old court house, the old mill, the post office, the old high school and other buildings. Concord is located in the Piedmont. Gold was discovered near Concord in 1799, sparking the North Carolina gold rush. The city was the filming location for the 2001 movie, "Shallow Hal." Well-known residents have included William "Billy" Goodman, baseball player. Attractions in Concord include the Concord Motorsport Park, the Lowe's Motor Speedway, and NASCAR Speedpark. To purchase a copy of the print pictured above, see this link:

Start, LA Drawing

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the community known as Start did not have a name. In 1908, Charles Titsch marked out a town plat and called it Charleston. After the Postal Service rejected several names for the new town, the new postmaster, Rachel Morgan, finally concluded that the name Start should be submitted because they were making a new start. In 1918, the U.S. Postal Service accepted Start as the official name of the community. Country music singer and actor, Tim McGraw, grew up in Start, LA.To purchase one of the Start prints pictured above, click here:

Bunkie, LA Drawing

Bunkie is a city in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. It is the birthplace of jazz drummer Zutty Singleton. Since 1987, Bunkie has hosted the annual Louisiana Corn Festival during the second full weekend of June. Bunkie is also well known as the rice, sugarcane, sweet potato, waterfowl, boiled crawfish, fried fish, and cajun capital of the world.The print of Bunkie above can be purchased at this link:

Hattiesburg, MS, Drawing

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was founded by William H. Hardy, a pioneer lumberman and civil engineer, who named the town in honor of his wife, Hattie. The town expanded as a center of the lumber and railroad industries, from which it derived its nickname of "The Hub City." It now attracts newcomers to the area because of its diverse economy, strong neighborhoods, and central location in south Mississippi.

The town is the home to the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. South of Hattiesburg is Camp Shelby, the largest National Guard training base east of the Mississippi River. Notable residents include Jimmy Buffett, musician; Brett Favre, former National Football League quarterback; and Eddie Hodges, actor and singer. Prints of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, can be purchased from Village Prints at

Canton, Mississippi, Drawing

Canton is a city in Madison County, Mississippi. It is the county seat of Madison County and situated in the northern part of the metropolitan area surrounding the state capital, Jackson. Much of Canton is on the National Register of Historic Places. The courthouse square is a historic shopping dist          rict and host to the Canton Flea Market. The east side of town is a large part of the historic district with many homes. Although not a major battle site during the Civil War, Canton was important as a rail and logistics center. Many wounded soldiers were treated in or transported through the city, and as a consequence it has a large Confederate cemetery. To order a Canton, MS, print, check out

Yazoo City, Mississippi, Drawing

Yazoo City is a city in Yazoo County, Mississippi. It was named after the Yazoo River, which, in turn was named by the French explorer Robert La Salle in 1682 as "Rivière des Yazous" in reference to the Yazoo tribe living near the river's mouth. Yazoo City is also known as the "Gateway to the Delta" due to its location on the transition between the two great landforms that characterize the geography of Mississippi. A few of the notable people who hail from Yazoo City, MS, include Haley Barbour, former Governor of Mississippi; Jerry Clower, famous country comedian; Willie Morris, writer who was born in Jackson, MS but grew up in Yazoo City; and Zig Ziglar, personal development speaker and trainer. To order the Yazoo City, MS, print, check out

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bentonville, Arkansas Drawing

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a new and exciting addition to Bentonville, Arkansas. Crystal Bridges takes its name from Crystal Spring—a natural spring on the Museum's wooded site that feeds into the Museum ponds. Crystal Bridges' permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks. Besides the art galleries, the complex includes a library, hands-on experience art studios, and a restaurant. More than three miles of walking and biking trails extend through the Museum’s 120-acre grounds. Crystal Bridges is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM; Wednesday and Friday from 11 AM to 9 PM. The Museum is closed on Tuesdays, as well as Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The trails are open sunrise to sunset every day. The general admission to Crystal Bridges is sponsored by Walmart. There is no cost to view the Museum’s permanent collections. Crystal Bridges is a nonprofit organization focused solely on creating a world-class museum for the benefit of the public. The Museum was founded by Alice Walton. To purchase a Bentonville print, check out