An ark of memories

Luetgens’ vision combines history, art, community

Posted: July 17, 2014 at 1:30 a.m.

Passers-by on U.S. 71 might notice the row of old houses only because they need work.

Web Watch

The Artist Retreat Center

The History

Fast Facts

Bella Vista


1853 — Jabez Hale builds a cabin.

1903 — The Linebarger family moves to Bentonville, buying 120 acres where the Walmart Home Office is now.

1909 — The Rev. William Baker and wife Mary buy property along Sugar Creek north of Bentonville.

1915 — The Bakers dam Sugar Creek to create a 20-acre lake and hold a contest to name their development. The winning name is Bella Vista.

1917 — The Linebarger Bros. buy Bella Vista, paying $6,100 for 206 acres.

1917 — The Linebargers open a lodge with 30 guest rooms and a dining hall that accommodates 150 diners.

1920 — The Linebargers add a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, horseback riding and a dance pavilion near Lake Bella Vista. They also build the elegant 65-room Sunset Hotel overlooking Bella Vista.

1930 — Wonderland Cave opens as an underground nightclub.

1952 — Bella Vista is sold to E.L. Keith — minus Wonderland Cave and the Linebarger cabin. Keith adds 402 acres to his original purchase of 450 acres.

1963 — John A. Cooper buys 40,000 acres in the name of Cooper Communities, including old Bella Vista and the right to use its name and reputation.

1979 — C.A. Linebarger dies.

1995 — The three Linebarger granddaughters inherit the cabin.

1996 — Carole Westby — now Carole Harter — buys out the shares of the Linebarger cabin from the other grandchildren. She renovates the home’s detached garage and eight acres as her residence.

2011 — Troy Parnell purchases the cabin and Harter’s property and reunites the two parcels.

2014 — The Artist Retreat Center opens.

— Source: Bella Vista Museum & staff reports

Go & Do


at the ARC

The Blank Canvas — Kids’ art with Karen Goodsell, (816) 304-9436

Loosen Your Grip — Fluid acrylics with Shawna Elliot, (479) 684-7434

Basic Fluid Acrylic — Paint a floral with Shawna Elliot, (479) 684-7434

Open Studio — Art in progress with Shawna Elliot, (479) 684-7434

Color Study Workshop — Paint a nocturne with Shawna Elliot, (479) 684-7434

Basic Strokes — Beginners’ technique with Shawna Elliot, (479) 684-7434

Words on Metal — With Nancy Dallison,

Art Journaling — With Nancy Dallison,

Keep It Simple — Adult yoga with Kenslee Etheredge, (479) 310-5593

Kaylin’s Keys to Health — With Kaylin Gilkey, (539) 777-1670

Zentangle — Creative drawing with Sara Bainbridge, (479) 263-6628

Basic Wire Jewelry — With Delane Cox, (479) 254-0894

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