Caddo Gap - Gap Mercantile - Summer 2020

September 07, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This Saturday road trip adventure included going to Caddo Gap, Arkansas and then on to see the Historic Hopper Old Church and Schoolhouse. We began traveling down Highway 71 South on the way to the Mount Ida area. This trip included a couple of friends which always brings a fun factor with lots of laughter and more memories. Once we reached Waldron we took a left onto Highway 80 East heading towards Danville. We have never traveled on Highway 80, a new road always brings great opportunities. As anticipated there were several old barns and homesteads located on both sides of the highway. We did not make any stops this time for pics, we are planning to return in the Fall season. 

At Danville, leaving Highway 80 East we turned right on to Highway 27 South and traveled this road coming into Mount Ida. This is another great highway to travel with beautiful countryside scenes and many curves. You will see several old barns and buildings along this highway. Once we reached Mount Ida, we turned left on to Highway 270 and drove a short ways through town to the Mt Ida Cafe. We were hungry for lunch and ready to try out their food for the first time. This cafe has a great selection of southern comfort food. Among us four we had burgers and BBQ pulled pork, all was great and highly recommended. While waiting for our lunch, a lady seated next to us asked where we were from since she did not recognize us. I told her we were from Fort Smith, that we do a lot of outdoor photography and were taking pictures of old barns and other buildings today. I introduced myself and she introduced herself as Sherry and her husband Donny. They live in the area and are really nice people.

Sherry said have you seen the old barns group on Facebook?  I told Sherry, I have a Facebook group called Arkansas Old Barns and Old Homesteads. I checked and Sherry had joined the Facebook group a month ago. Love how God makes the smallest things happen with people. Please go visit my Facebook group by clicking this link - Arkansas Old Barns and Old Homesteads - we just celebrated the 10,000 member milestone. We had a great conversation with Sherry and Donny about the beauty of the area and how many old barns and buildings were still standing after all these years. I told them we were headed to Hopper to see the old church and school house. They of course were familiar with this historic church and schoolhouse. This is another story of meeting people that are friendly and love to share stories of the area they call home. Thank You again, our new friends Sherry and Donny.

After lunch and back in the adventure vehicle we took Highway 27 South to Caddo Gap, which is less than 15 miles away. In Caddo Gap we visited the Historic Gap Mercantile which was established in 1932. Click the link to visit their page on Facebook - Historic Gap Mercantile. You are going to love visiting this old-fashioned general store. They have gifts, souvenirs, toys, antiques, collectibles, retro sodas, and much more. In case you didn't know, I am a huge Big Red soda fan. I actually love Big Red, my favorite soda of all time. And guess what? This establishment has Big Red, well of course they do. Big Red is one of the retro sodas they stock for your thirst pleasure. 

The store is one of those incredible places you can spend a long time looking, browsing and shopping for neat vintage and other items for your home or home away from home cabin. There is also a large collection of books to choose from for your reading and learning pleasure. Notice the Moon Pie, Oh My Gosh! They also have retro style candy such as the Mallo Cup and snacks. Back in the day, at my elementary school there was a separate building on campus named The Candy Store. At lunch time we would go there to buy our favorite candy and snacks. My favorite candy in life is the Mallo Cup. What is a Mallo Cup? Hey, Thank you for asking - HaHa. A Mallo Cup is milk chocolate cups with a whipped creamy center and a sprinkle of coconut. There are 2 cups per package in the standard size. They are so good and most glorious as I would describe the taste. Our shopping time this day included a green t-shirt like the one hanging by the lantern, Mallo Cup and more, Big Red, strawberry preserves and apple butter. I can't pass up apple butter, it just would not be right. A hot buttered biscuit with apple butter makes happy happen every time. 

We had a nice conversation talking to Lynna behind the counter. Lynna and her husband own the store. Lynna was telling us on the back of the store there is a 2 bedroom cottage that is listed on Click on the click - Mercantile Cottage to view and make a reservation for your next adventure in the Mount Ida/Caddo Gap area. 

Join me again as I share with you - Loving Outdoors Life adventures.

Kirk Hobbs




















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