Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TOP STORY >> Old gas station makes state list

Leader staff writer

The Roundtop filling station in Sherwood has been named one of the top 10 most endangered historic places in the state by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas.

The public is invited to join Mayor Virginia Hillman and Darrell Brown, chairman of the Sherwood History and Heritage Committee, for the official announcement at 10 a.m. Thursday at the William Woodruff House, 1017 E. 8th St. in Little Rock.

The committee was expecting to know on May 3 whether Sherwood had won an $80,000 Department of Arkansas Heritage grant to restore the landmark.

Brown said the announcement of the grant recipient has been moved to June 11.

Making the list could open doors to more funding sources, he added.

It could cost $150,000 to bring the 1936 station at Trammel and Roundtop roads back to its former glory, Brown said previously.

If the city is awarded the grant, the structure will be used as a police substation because the Department of Arkansas Heritage requires any building the grant is used for to have a designated purpose.

Donations for the restoration project are being accepted. They are tax deductible.

Send donations to “Save the Roundtop Campaign” c/o Sherwood City Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 6256, Sherwood, Ark. 72124. Write “Roundtop” in the memo line of any checks.

For more information, contact Brown at 501-425-4037 or by e-mail at DWBrown@CityofSherwood.net.

W.D. “Happy” Williford operated the station for 36 years, from 1936 until 1972.

Real estate tycoon Justin Matthews built the Roundtop for the Pierce Oil Company after the federal government broke up the Standard Oil Company in 1911.

The landmark later became a Phillips 66, a Sinclair gas station and a DX station. It had three pumps.

Williford bought the Round-top in 1957 and sold it in 1999 to George Brown. Darrell Brown and George Brown are not related.

When George Brown passed away, his heirs gave the building to Sherwood.

Roundtop Road was once Hwy. 67, the main thoroughfare from Bald Knob and Searcy to Little Rock and North Little Rock. People from St. Louis also drove it.

The station was the only place that had public bathrooms between Searcy and Little Rock. The station has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places s