The annual Main Street Texarkana Christmas ornaments are now available for purchase.
This year’s ornament marks the 10 year anniversary of the collectible ornaments/medallions, and is a new version of the first ornament available. This year’s ornament is titled State Line Avenue and shows a view looking south from the popular destination, U.S. Post Office/Courthouse, at Photographer’s Island. The ornament is a street view ending at the historic Union Station.
We have many that collect the ornaments/medallions each year for family, friends, and teachers, serving as a personal gift of our historic downtown Texarkana landmarks, said Ina McDowell, executive director, Main Street Texarkana.
The popular ornaments are pewter and are $15. They are available at the Main Street office inside the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, Fan Fare Gifts, Pleasant Grove Pharmacy, Downtown Galleries and Museum of Regional History.
Past year’s ornaments are still available from the Chamber of Commerce office. For more information call, 903-792-7191.
Main Street Texarkana Series
- U. S. Post Office and Court House Texarkana’s most prominent structure, the U.S. Post Office and Court House, was completed in 1933. It has the unique distinction of being the only federal building in the country located in two states. Straddling the boundary between Texas and Arkansas, the five story building features a base of Texas pink granite, and walls of gray Arkansas limestone. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the second most photographed courthouse in the country surpassed only by the U.S. Supreme Court Building.
- Perot Theatre Opened in 1924 by the New Orleans Saenger Theatre chain as the “Showplace of the South,” the Texarkana Saenger hosted live theatre and motion pictures until 1976. Saved from demolition by the City of Texarkana, Texas, the Neo-Italian Renaissance architecture with gold leaf, ornate relief moldings, crystal chandeliers, and royal blue décor was restored. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and reopened in 1981, the Saenger name was changed to the Perot Theatre in memory of the parents of Texarkana natives H. Ross Perot and his sister, Bette.
- Ace of Clubs House According to legend, money to build the Ace of Clubs House came from winnings of a poker game won with the draw of the ace of clubs. James H. Draughon, local lumberman and entrepreneur, in 1885 built the unique Italianate Victorian home in a trefoil design resembling the shape of the playing card. Henry Moore, Sr., attorney and planter, bought the home in 1894. For ninety-one years, three generations of the Moore family occupied the home. In 1985, Olivia Smith Moore deeded it to the Texarkana Museums System. The home was opened to the public with a gala affair in 1988.
- Municipal Building The Texarkana, Arkansas Municipal Building was built combining “Collegiate Gothic” and “Art Deco” styles as envisioned by architects, Witt, Seibert & Halsey. The cornerstone is dated 1928. The structure housed a municipal auditorium, jail, city hall and fire station. A grand opening was held in the auditorium on March 5, 1930. Until the 1970s, the auditorium served the entire community as a gathering place for civic functions and performing arts and hosted stars including Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Ensign Fountain The Ensign Fountain located at State line Avenue and Seventh Street originally stood in front of the downtown Texarkana post office as a watering trough for animals. There were at least 70 fountains and possibly up to 125 distributed across the United States during the 1900s. Made of granite, one side bears a plaque declaring the fountain a gift in 1909 from the National Humane Alliance, Hermon Lee Ensign, Founder. Water shoots from the top and three lion head spigots dispense water into an upper bowl designed for horses. At the base are four small water bowls for dogs, cats and other animals.
- U.S. Federal Courthouse Completed in 1911 for U.S. Federal Court, Texas Eastern District, this building served as Bowie County Courthouse from 1933 to 1985. It was then leased by Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council for 99 years. After extensive renovations, it was renamed the Texarkana Regional Arts Center in 1992. Currently it hosts professional galleries for touring national exhibits plus regional local artists’ works, elegant halls for events, ArtsSmart Education Institute, Women for the Arts for Arts’ Sake Gift Shop, and TRAHC offices.
- Offenhauser Building The first brick structure in Texarkana, build c.1879 as the Texarkana City Bank. Here in 1883, pioneer businessman F.W. Offenhauser wrote his first insurance policy. The building served as the headquarters for Offenhauser Insurance Company until 1971, when Offenhauser moved into a new building on Pine Street. The building then opened as the Texarkana Historical Museum and in 2001 renamed the Museum of Regional History. It is now a part of the Texarkana Museums System. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1963. National Register of Historical Places – 1971.
- Union Station Opened in 1930, Union Station represents the importance of the railroad to the city of Texarkana. The city was planned and developed around the railroad 140 years ago(1873) with the arrival of the first train, Texas and Pacific. Later, with the influence of businessman Jay Gould, the Missouri Pacific Mountain Route evolved, followed by the Cotton Belt Route and the Kansas City Southern. Strategically placed as the gateway to the southwest, Union Station was a milestone in the progress of the city. Designed by architect, E.M. Tucker, and built for $1,700,000, its 67,000 sq ft of decorative terra cotta and brickwork still stands today representing the city’s reason for being.
- Hotel Grim The Hotel Grim was once the “Crown Jewel” of Texarkana. Built for $1M, and opened in 1925, the hotel was designed by architects George Mann and Eugene Stern and named after William Rhodes Grim, a prominent businessman, who visioned the project. Hotel Grim was the hot spot of Texarkana in the 1930’s hosting many parties for the rich, big jazz bands, and site for KCMC radio station in 1934. Bonnie and Clyde along with Henry Methvin were rumored to have made an appearance at Hotel Grim.
- State Line Avenue Est. 1873 – Texarkana is one of a few cities in the United States split between two states-Texas and Arkansas. The name comes from TEXas, ARKansas, and neighboring LouisiANA. Said to be the second most photographed U.S. Post Office/Courthouse in the U.S. behind the U.S. Supreme Court, thousands annually stand at Photographer’s Island for a photo in the two states. Looking south on State Line Ave., visitors can see some of the city’s most historic landmarks.