2016 12-Month Progress Report

Friends and chamber members,

Happy New Year!  Whew! It has been a busy and award winning 2016 for the volunteers of the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce!  Thanks for all your contributions to our success.  Let’s stay together and keep striving for even greater success in 2017!

Governors conference 4

Darryl Treat

The Greater Searcy

County Chamber of Commerce

12-month Progress Report (Jan – Dec 2016)

(Supporting our members and the economic progress of Searcy County!)


  • Chamber membership grew to 181 members!
  • Increased Facebook Friends from 5,376 to 6,951
  • Supported Searcy County events and Chamber businesses on Facebook
  • Technology Coordinator Lee Walsh maintained a Chamber website
  • Helped multiple local businesses in their quest to fill job openings by giving exposure to the openings
  • Solicited new business for Searcy County with official letters from Chamber president
  • Used the Arkansas Group Travel On-line Sales Leads Distribution System to target emails to potential tourists and tourist agencies
  • Mailed literature through US Postal Service to persons interested in Searcy County
  • Chamber president answered “numerous” phone calls on an almost 24/7 365-day basis!
  • Chamber president assisted the Searcy County Economic Development Corporation by monthly confirming the status of the properties currently listed on the Entergy Economic Development Site Selection Center website
  • Lee Walsh established SEARCY COUNTY WEATHER station reporting on our Website.
  • Established a Chamber Instagram Account. @searcycountycc
  • International Mountain Biking Association representative Steve Schneider met with Chamber President Darryl Treat & Leslie Mayor Talitha Hardin about mountain biking in Leslie
  • Continued a cooperative agreement with the Kenda Drive-In to show commercials promoting Searcy County at the drive-in
  • Continued to conduct monthly chamber meetings primarily in the Petit Jean conference room
  • Chamber president spoke to the Searcy County Republican Party regarding economic issues
  • Helped spread the word to find nominees for the 76th annual session of the Arkansas American Legion Boys State
  • Helped initiate and conduct the 1st Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee Searcy County Championship Thursday 26 January at Petit Jean in Marshall for children in 3rd through 8th grades in Marshall, Leslie, and St. Joe schools!
  • Worked with Kristine Puckett, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, to help us acquire contact information to attract a new hotel to the county
  • Updated the 2016 Manufacturer’s Directory for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce
  • Met with representatives from the Ozark Byways regional network at Big Springs Restaurant in St. Joe. The group shared ideas for regional events and reviewed the draft of the 2016 Ozark Byways magazine. Among those concepts discussed were mountain bike trails, quilt trail, agri-tours, and day-tripping.
  • Chamber president addressed Leslie City Council meeting asking for support for disc golf and Bike Park within the Leslie City Park. Received council endorsement to proceed
  • Chamber compiled, maintained, and published Events Calendar for Searcy County
  • Promoted that The American Red Cross is giving away and installing free smoke detectors with 10 year batteries!
  • Advising chamber members to ask their customers to go to Trip Advisor and leave a review! Great idea from Michael Economopoulos.
  • Organized a meeting in Leslie of some key Searcy County officials with a representative of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission
  • Chamber president answered questions of Julie Blair, CEA-Staff Chair, Searcy County, before she attended a workshop about Local Economic Development opportunities
  • Promoted Searcy County to KY3 TV of Springfield, Missouri
  • Created and printed 8,000 of the 2016 Community and Relocation Guides
  • Relocation Guides provided for Arkansas Tourism Welcome Centers, Little Rock AFB, and around Searcy County
  • Held successful 3rd Chamber Banquet & Awards Ceremony on 25 Feb in Marshall
  • Recognized Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Spirit of Searcy County Award, and gave out a Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Paid out $750 to award-winning Agriculture, Business, and Science/Technology students from around the county
  • Chamber president helped the Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support understand the contributions that volunteers made to our organization by completing the 2015 ARKANSAS VOLUNTEER IMPACT SURVEY.
  • Member of the Ozark Mountain Region, a recognized Arkansas Regional Tourism Association
  • Maintained welcome signs along US Highway 65 toward north and south ends of the county and occasionally changed the signs message
  • Two board members and chamber president attended Chronic Wasting Disease meeting in Marshall
  • Promoted awareness of bed bug problem to chamber members
  • Hosted meat processor owner Andy Shaw to show him the need in Searcy County
  • Attended 42nd annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
  • Winner of the Bootstrap Award, Arkansas Parks and Tourism Henry Awards!
  • Set up a booth at the MHS Chocolate Roll Festival
  • Donated eight pizzas and water for the Buffalo River Trail Crew while they worked to complete the trail between HW 65 and the South Maumee Road.  David and Cynthia Garmoe represented the chamber.
  • Purchased full page Ad in the 2016 Ozark Byways magazine at the cost of $1,000
  • Purchased an Ad in new regional magazine “Our Ozarks Magazine,” ½ page for $250
  • Working to help J & H Custom Furniture of Pindall sell their factory to someone who will keep manufacturing here in Searcy County
  • Sent a letter of support to help the grant application for Mrs. Judith Branscum, Marshall High School College and Career Coach
  • Mersady Redding represented Searcy County at the Miss Teen International Competition April 22-24 in Maumelle. Chamber sponsored for $100.
  • Steven Newby was selected as the new chamber of commerce secretary
  • Established a new trails committee with Darryl Treat, Victor Boyd, Dirk Merle, and Laura McCarty
  • Worked with University of Memphis grad student Elizabeth Treat to produce a map of the entire Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Worked with City of Marshall, the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, and Searcy County to acquire grant money for a bicycle trail and bike park in Marshall
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat selected by the Rural Community Alliance as a “Champion of Rural Arkansas”
  • Encouraged Marshall to start marketing itself
  • Sponsored one hole of disc golf in Leslie for $325
  • Laura McCarty manned a booth for the Chamber at the 6th Annual Searcy County Health & Safety Expo
  • Partnering with the North Central Adult Education Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE) Program! Involves serving on the WAGE Advisory Committee.
  • Very first chamber of commerce in the state of Arkansas to have 6,000 Facebook friends!
  • Chamber president spent all day conducting a Searcy County Tour for Tracy Morales, Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Parks & Tourism and Casey Cesare, Director of Ozark Mountain Region Tourism on 31 May!
  • Chamber purchased an ad in the Leslie Homecoming book and the Searcy County Fair book
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat and Laura McCarty helped the Buffalo National River and the Ozark Highlands Trail Association celebrate National Trails Day on June 4, 2016 at Tyler Bend. Chamber purchased chocolate rolls for the event.
  • Chamber agreed to spend up to $500 for the new Stem Rock Natural Area at Oxley
  • Helped the City of Marshall put out the word for a Public Hearing on 14 June at City Hall in Marshall regarding a proposed city park
  • Helped the City of Marshall by spreading the word of Marshall’s need for letters of support for grant money for a sidewalk/bicycle trail project in Marshall
  • Chamber president attended Civil War Historical Marker Dedication, ribbon cutting, and Potluck on 2 July in Witts Springs
  • We renewed dues to the Ozark Mountain Region Tourism for $160
  • Chamber agreed to spend up to $500 to acquire signs and equipment for the new Ozark Grinder bicycle trail
  • Chamber approved $100 sponsorships for the Pedestal Rock Bicycle Ride at Witt Springs, the 3rd Annual Hog Wild Days in Marshall, and the Ozark Mountain Shootin’ Hoops For A Cause in St. Joe
  • Chamber president spoke at the Arkansas Trails Council Meeting at Tyler Bend, Saturday, July 16
  • Chamber Secretary Steven Newby and President Darryl Treat completed and filed the 2016 Annual Report for Nonprofit Corporation to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat participated on 19 July in the Mountain Home Retiree Recruitment Luncheon with other like-minded area organizations
  • Purchased “Welcome Wagon” type canvas bags from Sozo Graphics. Ideally, for giving out to new employees who have just moved to Searcy County.
  • Chamber assisted in promoting a Community Night of Prayer in support of our law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS personnel!
  • Chamber ordered and 911 Coordinator Gary Ragland installed about $415 of Bicycle Trail & Bicycle Route signs for the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Helped Royal Oak Charcoal obtain an Average Wage Survey for Searcy County and then shared it with our chamber of commerce.
  • Chamber president welcomed new hires to the Searcy County School District on 5 August and gave out Welcome Bags
  • Lobbied and informed key politicians of the impact of a Presidential Executive Order that caused the loss of the local gunsmith at R&C Arms of Marshall
  • Chamber advertised in the Marshall Mountain Wave supporting the Farm Family of the Year and the Searcy County Fair
  • Chamber purchased booth space at the Searcy County Fair in Marshall. Booth manned by Sara Davison.
  • Chamber donated to the Searcy County Fair Premium
  • Chamber of commerce president volunteered by picking up trash at South Maumee, Buffalo National River, on August 20, 2016
  • Chamber member Lee Walsh submitted photos to the Arkansas Educational Television Network of the Wiley’s Cove barn near Leslie and the Smith barn near Marshall for consideration in a show about barns of Arkansas. AETN adopted both barns in its show “Back Road Barns,” an AETN original production that aired on Thursday, August 25th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Chamber president volunteered by using his chainsaw to take out some nuisance trees at the Searcy County Civic Center in Marshall
  • Chamber president and some other chamber members attended a meeting with Attorney General Leslie Rutledge in Marshall on 23 August addressing small business issues
  • Invited chamber members attended the National Park Service 100th birthday party at Tyler Bend on 25 August
  • Continued to push the “Shop Local” campaign on Facebook and in the chamber of commerce Community and Relocation Guide
  • Organized and promoted Junkfest! Purchased $100 of Junkfest Advertising on KCGS radio
  • Promoted horseback riding in Searcy County and the 37th Annual Falling Water Trail ride
  • Chamber president spoke about “Organizing the Greater Community” to the Regional Revitalization Networks Training, October 4-5, Leslie-Marshall-St. Joe, held by Rural Community Alliance
  • Chamber president spoke and served on the “Chamber Panel” of the CTE Regional Partnership Council Summit III at the Durand Center in Harrison on October 26th
  • Chamber board member Billie Reed volunteered to go to the 7th Annual Hiking the Ozarks Outdoor Rendezvous at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, located near the Buffalo National River, in Jasper on 22 October to promote Searcy County and our members
  • Rod Corley of Aux Arc Wilderness Cabins of Zack volunteered to do a Market Analysis Class for rental lodging operators to maximize their rentals.  Rod is a graduate of the Institute of Real Estate Management, CPM.  Some of his clients were John Hancock, Massachusetts Mutual, Connecticut Mutual, Bank of New York, LaSalle Partners, and Wells Fargo!  Rod recently completed a Searcy County Rental Market Survey.  That survey has already helped Rod!
  • Assisted Zack McCannon, Producer, AETN-ArkansasIDEAS, with a documentary, Music in Arkansas. Origins tracks the development of Arkansas’s rich musical heritage
  • Helped McClain Forestry by providing 2015 Average Hourly Wages for Searcy County by sector and advertising their hiring party
  • Chamber president attended Mountain View Trail Coalition Meeting and spoke about the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Worked with Parks & Tourism to find a restaurant in Marshall for travel writers from Mexico who were visiting Gilbert
  • Helped promote the “Buy it Where You Burn it” campaign to stop the movement of firewood into Searcy County and the possible spread of forest-damaging pests
  • Chamber members participated in the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD) and the Institute for Economic Advancement (IEA) at UALR Strategic Assessment meeting on Monday, September 19th at 3:00 p.m. at Petit Jean in Marshall
  • Some chamber members volunteered to maintain a section of the Buffalo River Trail from the South Maumee Road to the Spring Creek Road
  • Buffalo National River calculated 2,543 people were at the chamber-sponsored Ozark Folklife Festival at Tyler Bend! Chuck Dovish filmed at the festival.
  • Pushed entries for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
  • Called at the request of Shepherd of the Ozarks who had their Windstream phone line cut by accident but was not getting the line repaired in a timely fashion. Call resulted in a quick repair helping the largest lodging facility in Searcy County!
  • Submitted Fall Foliage Reports to Arkansas Parks & Tourism
  • Helped the Quitman Jeep Junkies get information on places to conduct Jeep riding
  • Worked to help Ozark Mountain Wood Pellets in their effort to set up manufacturing north of Pindall
  • Lobbied Petit Jean about applying a rural electrification model to broadband internet access
  • Educated chamber members on tools to use when promoting Searcy County in a Customer Service Economy
  • Submitted an Outstanding Volunteer Service Award Nomination for the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce, a Parks & Tourism Henry Award.
  • Successfully got Leslie added to the Antiquing page on Arkansas.com as a Hotspot!
  • Supported increased National Park Service funding that could help with a deferred maintenance backlog of $12.7 million in needed repairs on the Buffalo National River
  • Submitted some major upgrades to Arkansas.com for Leslie and Witts Springs
  • Donated $50 for use of the Veterans Memorial Hall in Marshall
  • Established a Go Fund me site for the purchase of a Country Music marker for Elton Britt, for both tourism attraction and heritage preservation
  • Approved up to $200 for more bicycle trail signs for 911 Coordinator Gary Ragland to put up for the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Robert Duggan, Recreation Program Manager Forest Service Ozark-St. Francis National Forests gave verbal approval on Friday, 9 December for Searcy County to place bicycle signs on highway right of way within the Ozark National Forest along the bicycle trail
  • Approved the purchase of Christmas lights to light up the old historic jail in Marshall
  • Chamber president working to help Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce make progress in their county
  • Conducted ribbon cutting ceremony at Acceptance Now inside Roten’s Furniture on 18 November in Marshall
  • Participated in the Courthouse Square Lighting Ceremony on 25 November
  • Helped a Marshall family obtain assistance for Christmas
  • Helped the Searcy County Judge determine the largest non-government employers in Searcy County
  • Worked with State Representative David Branscum to get a letter sent to Governor Asa Hutchinson petitioning for Elton Britt’s inclusion in the Arkansas Entertainer’s Hall of Fame
  • Donated $100 to the family of the late Rock-n-Java proprietor Shawn Henderson
  • David & Cynthia Garmoe represented the Chamber in the Christmas Parade on 10 December in Marshall
  • Technology Coordinator Lee Walsh and Treasurer Alesha Collier established a PayPal account for the Chamber
  • Received a letter of recommendation for Elton Britt’s inclusion in the Arkansas Entertainer’s Hall of Fame from the Rackensack Folklore Society Pulaski County
  • Submitted some upgrades to Arkansas.com for Marshall and Gilbert
  • Promoted on Facebook to take unwanted prescription drugs to the sheriff’s office in Marshall for collection
  • Worked to help find office space for a new Searcy County resident
  • Ran an end-of-year 15 Searcy County Attractions Countdown on Facebook!
  • Budget Committee proposed budget for 2017

Advertising                                       $4,000

Booths/Events/Sponsor.                   $3,500

Banquet                                            $2,000

Housekeeping                                   $1,600

Old Jail Office                                      $500              

Total                                                $11,600


Onward to 2017!!


Upcoming 2016 Searcy County Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony

The 2015 Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Awards Ceremony was a great success, and with the addition of nearly 70 new members since 2013, we expect this year’s event to be special as well.   This years Banquet will be held on Thursday, February 25th 2016, at 6:00 PM at the Searcy County Civic Center in Marshall.

This year’s theme of the event is, “Building a Healthy Searcy County”.

We plan to have 2 special guests and speakers this year.  Former Searcy County resident Dr. Jay Geoghagan from North Little Rock will be the first featured speaker.   Deputy Parks Superintendent Laura Miller will be our second featured speaker.

Again we will be presenting awards for Chamber Business of the year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the year (which can also be a group) and in the Student Category,  Agri Student of the year, Business Student of the year and Science / Technology Student of the Year, and an overall award for Community Service in the county called The “Spirit of Searcy County” Award.

Watch for more information about the Chamber Banquet on the Chamber’s Facebook Page.



2015  Banquet and Awards Ceremony a huge Success!!


The Annual Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce held it’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony last night, February 26th, 2015, at the Searcy County Civic Center.   Nearly 200 were in attendance for the event, and it was a great success.

Keynote Speaker Mr. James Johnston



“The Spirit of Searcy County Award”: Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy Lang Holland and State Police Officer Buster “Buckey” Rinks
Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenneth Fariss
Business of the Year: Ratchford Farms –  L.C. Ratchford
Employee of the Year: Amanda McCoy – Marshall Medic Pharmacy
Volunteer of the Year: Keith Karnes
Business Student of the Year: Victoria Passmore 1st, Mersady Redding 2nd, Court Turney 3rd
Agriculture Student of the Year: Laykyn Rainbolt 1st, Logan Boyd 2nd, Grace Pepler 3rd
Science/Technology Student of the Year: Seth Stephenson 1st, Taylor Irwin 2nd, Domonique Baheza 3rd

3 of the Student winners (Seth Stephenson, Victoria Passmore and Mersady Redding) were not available for the photo because of a event conflict and are not shown.
(Photo by Bob King Photography)

Award Winners


Spirit of Searcy County Award Winners.


2014  Banquet and Awards Ceremony a huge Success!!

On Thursday, February 27th, 2014 the Officers and many members of the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce celebrated a banner year for the chamber with the 1st Annual Searcy County Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony.   The re-organization of the Searcy County Chamber is 5 years old, and we passed a landmark this past year with over 100 members.  We decided it was time to celebrate.  Around 140 were in attendance for the event and everyone had a great time.

The old Searcy County Chamber was disbanded in the mid 1990’s and previously held a couple banquets during that earlier period, but current chamber member and previous member Bob King said this was by far the best attended event, and the chamber is stronger than ever.

Big Springs Trading Company catered the event with great food, and the food was served by the Girl Scouts.

The keynote Speaker was Lavina Grandon from the Rural Community Alliance.  Lavina, is the past recipient of the Teacher of the Year award, and the Arkansas Rural Person of the Year in 2004.  Lavina gave everyone a rousing and entertaining speech complete with props from the older days of the county, invoices from her birth, and what people paid for various items in past years.  She told of the history of the area, where we are now, and where she things we’re going.

Awards were given in several categories including, Employee of the year, Business of the Year, and Volunteer of the year.  School awards were given for Agri Students of the year, and business student of the year.

See the award winners below.  (Photo by Ron Gillispie of the Marshall Mtn. Wave)


Winners from Left to Right are:

  • Shelby Treat   —    Second Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • Clark Taylor   —      First Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • James Housley —  Honorable Mention Agri Student of the Year
  • Charmaine Seaton  – Director of the Searcy County Civic Center  – Volunteer of  the Year
  • Nancy Jones, Jeanie Horton, Teresa Jackson, Amanda McCoy, Kelsey Whitelaw  (Medic Pharmacy) — Business of the Year
  • Grace Pepler  — Third Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • Foy Whitelaw with his son Finn — (Ozark Hardwood Flooring)  — Employee of the Year
  • Susan Verhegge  — Business Student of the Year


Jack Treat was also presented  his award of Lifetime Achievement for his work with the community and the Searcy County Chamber of Commerce by Chamber Vice President Lee Walsh

Jack Award


New Member – Searcy County Rural Help Center


The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome the Searcy County Rural Help Center as one of its newest members.

The Searcy County Rural Help Center’s mission is to improve the welfare of disadvantaged citizens, on a local scale, by acting as an outreach for Social and Human Services to rural areas of Searcy County.  Our services are designed to help eliminate extensive travel, and assist those who are in need of assistance in form completion, and access to information pertaining to Social and Human Services.

The Center houses a small Library, and Computer Lab that provides access to computer and internet  services, that lessens the physical barriers in communication, and provides access to Adult Education, and fundamental computer classes.  The Library provides an exchange book program, and offers the opportunity to check out books for adults and children.  Our future plans are to provide children’s programs that promote literacy and increase student achievement.

An element also included in the Center is the Thrift Store, where all funds are filtered back into the Center for enhanced programs.

You may contact the Searcy County Rural Help Center at their location, 260 North Church St. in St. Joe, Arkansas, 72675, by phone at 870-439-8300 or by Email.


Hurricane River Cave announces Extreme Cave Tours

Hurricane River Cave

In an exciting announcement, Hurricane River Cave has announced they will be offering two Guided Extreme Cave Tours for 2013.

In addition to their regular cave tour, there are two different Extreme Cave tours offered.

The Deep North, or the East Passage cave tours.

These cave tours can be somewhat customized, to accommodate different fitness levels.
Our extreme cave tours ( by reservation ) feature a combination of the following: vertical climbs; slipping, sliding, stumbling; hands and knees crawls; belly crawls; tight squeezes; contortionist positions; tortuous, irregular terrain; gooey, sticky clay; soupy clutching mud; disconcerting ravine crossings, of indeterminate depths; wadingand or swimming; a short boat ride; bear beds, and numerous bear claw marks; sites where a saber tooth tiger, and many prehistoric, short faced bears, were discovered; and human remains, which are still there, in their final resting place, as of 2013.  The cave entrance is right next to the waterfall: you will walk right by it.Duration: 3-5 hours. Each extreme cave tour, covers about one and a half miles: although you will feel like you’ve done 5.The cost of these cave tours is $89.00 per person, plus state and local taxes: currently at 9 % ( 2013 ). Group rates, and family rates, are available.
For this cave tour, you will be supplied with a Petzl caving helmet, with a headlight, along with knee pads, and gloves. You will be accompanied at all times by a guide, for your safety, and the protection of the cave. Prepare to get extremely muddy on this trip. Lace up boots are best; however, tightly laced up sneakers are also OK. A long sleeved shirt is necessary; a belt is very important to hold up your jeans, as they will loosen up and sag, when they get wet and muddy; and you should wear a swim suit underneath your clothes: so that you can strip off all your muddy clothes, at tour end, before you use our hot showers: for which, we supply towels. We encourage the use of waterproof cameras, and sport cams for photography.
Check out the 5 Star  ratings on on Hurricane river cave from Trip Adviser.Com .


Hurricane River Cave is located in Northwest Searcy County, Arkansas on U.S.  Highway 65, halfway between Harrison and M
arshall (about a half hour drive either way), and about 50 minutes south of Branson, MO

You will be guided along a level ancient underground riverbed. These fantastic water-eroded passageways are the most unique of their kind among American show caves. Our cave features stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, draperies, soda straws, rimstone dams, cave popcorn, columns, moonmilk, stalactoflats, canopies, along with rare and unique shields, and more!

The Cave’s visitor approval ratings get high marks, according to an official state exit poll. Only the extremely claustrophobic would feel uncomfortable in Hurricane River Cave.

A number of unusual skeletons have been discovered in the cave. Among them are a saber-toothed cat (Smilodan Floridanus); many bears (including the prehistoric Ursus Americanus Amplidens); and, in 1989, a complete Indian skeleton, which is still in its final resting place which you will see on the Extreme Cave Tour.insidecave3

Not only are the caverns spectacular, but so are the grounds. The cave entrance is at the base of a towering bluff and is graced by a much photographed waterfall (specially created for the visitor) that spills between 150 and 300 gallons per minute. This water crashes down through a series of smaller waterfalls and pools. Green manicured lawns, flowering shrubs, flowers and trees complete the scenery.  Especially pretty in the early spring are the native Arkansas red bud and dogwood trees.

The cave is  open from March 1st to October 31st. Winter visits are available by appointment. Guided tours take approximately 45 minutes, and it’s rare that anyone ever waits more than 20 minutes. The distance covered is about ¼ mile and is not strenuous — only one incline and two staircases (17 and 27 steps respectively)


Sheltered picnic tables are also available.

Hurricane River Cave gift shop showcases rocks, minerals, ceramics, full leaded crystal, and jewelry. tables are available. There is ample parking space.

Come and visit Hurricane River Cave.

For more information or to contact Hurricane River Cave, call 870-429-6200, email, or visit the Hurricane River Cave website.


Click on a picture below of a slideshow of photos from the Hurricane River Cave.


New Member – Kindling Trail Cabin

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce is proud to have Kindling Trail Cabin as a new Member!!!

Nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains just outside of St. Joe, AR, this  rustic-looking log cabin is waiting for your visit.  Just a short drive from the Buffalo River area on Highway 65 (3.5 Miles South of the Tyler Bend Recreation Area and 4.3 Miles North of the Sinclair Travel Center/High School Area in Marshall – Turn off Highway 65 onto Kindling Trail) and a short walk to scenic Bear Creek.

With all the amenities you expect, Refrigerator, Range, Microwave, Satellite TV (upstairs and down), 1 full bath, 1 half bath, sleeping room for up to 8 persons.  Come spend a Night, aWeekend or longer and leave feeling refreshed and invigorated.

For more information, photos, rates and for booking, contact Kindling Trail Cabins at www.kindlingtrail.com or phone 870-448-3210


CAUTION! You Might Not Want To Leave

FYI: We are located in a DRY county.  BYOB!



Member of the Week – Old Mercantile Antiques/Arkansas Handmade

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce announces Old Mercantile Antiques, and owner Laurie Gross in Leslie, Arkansas  has been chosen as the Member of the Week.

At Laurie’s shop, Old Mercantile Antiques and funky old stuff, you can find just about anything old, as long as it’s very cool. She has classic primitives, lovely glassware and pottery, and things you’ve probably never seen before!   Laurie really has an eye for unique items, and believes that almost anything old is worth enjoying.   Of course it’s an antique store, so everything isn’t perfect, but has character and patina that comes with age.

Laurie has just opened a new shop, named Arkansas Handmade, just down the street from Old Mercantile,  which is a shop that is filling fast with unique handmade items from craftspeople from all over Arkansas.  She has a great selection of  vintage oil paintings, quilts, glassware, baskets, jewelry and more.  She seems to be adding daily to the new shop and soon it will probably be as full with items as Old Mercantile.

Old Mercantile has some really unique items.  Touring the shop this afternoon was a great experience.   There is no way I can name all the items that I saw, but some things that caught my eye were the old phonograph’s, old kitchen cabinets, old lanterns, an old compass from a ship, many antique tools, spice cabinets, spool cabinets, great selection of old antique books, glassware including carnival glass, and even an old juke box.   She has quite an interesting collection.

She has an online store as well.   You can visit her site at www.old-merc.com to browse and even buy right there online.    Check  out the pictures of her shops below in our slide show.

To Contact Laurie at Old Mercantile, call 870-447-2731 or email.



Sunset Motel – Marshall, Arkansas

If you’re looking for a quaint place to spend a night if you are in the Searcy County area, give one of the 17 newly remodeled rooms at the Sunset Motel in Marshall a try.   Conveniently located at the intersection of  U.S. Highway 65 South and State Highway 27 East in Marshall Arkansas, the Sunset Motel has all the comforts of home.  In business since 1947 in the same location.

Free Wifi service and microwaves and refrigerators all the rooms.   Contact the Sunset Motel for reservation information at 870-448-3348 or E-mail.


New Member – Debbie Loggins – Searcy County Clerk

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome Debbie Loggins, Searcy County Clerk as a new member.

Debbie was just elected to the Clerks office this past November.  In joining, Debbie commented “If county officials can’t support the Chamber, then who can.  I hope the other officials follow.”

We would love for all the county officials to join the Searcy County Chamber, to help us promote a great business and tourism climate for the entire county.  The support of everyone is encouraged.

Thank you again Debbie for supporting the Searcy County Chamber of Commerce.  We look forward to having your input at our monthly meetings.

To join Debbie as a member, you can sign up here.

New Member – Elk and Eagle Trading Post, LLC

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Elk & Eagle Trading Post, LLC and its owners Darryl and Dana Treat.

Darryl is a Searcy County native who retired after more than 26 years in the US Air Force. He has now set down some business roots on Main Street in Leslie with Elk & Eagle Trading Post, LLC. The trading post is predominately, but not entirely a gift shop. Inside the store you can find locally-made, Arkansas-made and American-made products. For you hikers, they have hiking sticks, hiking medallions and hiking sew-on patches.

When you’re looking for birthday and Christmas gifts give the trading post a look. They carry books from Tim Ernst, as well as house flags, Post Familie muscadine juice and products from Ratchford Exotic Meats. There are also Ozark T-shirts and socks from For Bare Feet, Inc. If you’re tired of giving your kids or grandkids electronic gifts, then take a look at some of the old-fashioned games available in the store from Channel Craft. No batteries or electric outlets required!

They also have pottery with local and regional imprinting. Handmade, wheel-thrown, brush-decorated pottery that is kiln fired at 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit.

When relatives and friends come to visit take a jaunt on down to Leslie and shop around town. When you’re leaving the trading post, if you didn’t notice them on the way in, don’t forget to look high up on the front of the store for a nice set of elk antlers.

Check out Elk & Eagle Trading Post on Facebook.


New Member – K & H Flowers and Gifts

K and H Flowers and Gifts

We are Very Happy to have K & H Flowers and Gifts as a new member of the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce.

Phone:  870-448-2158



K & H Flowers & Gifts proudly serves the Marshall area. We are family owned and operated. We are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, backed by service that is friendly and prompt. Because all of our customers are important, our professional staff is dedicated to making your experience a pleasant one. That is why we always go the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect.

Let K & H Flowers & Gifts be your first choice for flowers and Gifts.


Store Hours

Our shop is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.

We are closed on Sundays.

To help assure on-time delivery during the busy holiday season, place your order at least 1 day prior to the following major holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Administrative Professionals Week, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Our shop will always be closed on the following holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Specialty Services

We specialize in the following services:


  • Large inventory of fresh flowers
  • Tropicals
  • Plants
  • European/dish gardens
  • Contemporary and traditional arrangements
  • High-style floral arrangements
  • Silk arrangements
  • Dried floral arrangements
  • Weddings
  • Funeral designs
  • Extensive gift line
  • Gourmet and fruit baskets
  • Gift baskets
  • Greeting cards
  • Candles

K and H Flowers