Sam Walton’s 5 & 10
I had every intention of mocking and making fun of the birthplace of Walmart. The little store in front had items in it just as you would find in a Ben Franklin 5 and 10 cent store back in the 40’s and 50’s. Sam started as a management trainee for J.C. Penny Company in 1940. After his stint in the Army he opened two Ben Franklin variety stores in Arkansas in 1945 and ‘47. It was in 1950 he and his family moved to Bentonville and he opened his own Walton’s 5 & 10, a Ben Franklin franchise. In 1962 he then opened his first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas and I drove right by it not knowing too. The museum in back filled with the history was very nicely done and I hate to say it, impressive. I could have spent an hour or more in there, but I didn’t. I wasn’t interested. Impressed, but not interested. I have more to show once home. The lady gave me a 50 year (2012 is the 50th) souvenir book. I’m hanging on to that. I know in time it’ll be worth a lot on eBay!
I want to add that Bentonville was a really charming town. The town plaza was very much like those in our winery towns back home in Sonoma County with all the little shops and boutiques. The old town with period homes and Victorians on quiet shady tree-lined streets, well you get the idea. I can see why the Walton’s moved here.