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Carriage House Inn

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Judge Benjamin Shaver House
1898. 701 12th St.
  • (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, A Division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, Ralph Wilcox, photographer)

Constructed in the same year that Mena was incorporated, this imposing white frame two-story Colonial Revival structure, one of the grandest of Mena’s nineteenth-century dwellings, represented the energy and optimism not only of young lawyer Benjamin Shaver but also of the citizenry of the bustling young railroad town. Two pedimented pavilions step forward from the house’s hipped roof; the front one, supported by monumental columns with Ionic capitals, has a small Palladian window in its pediment. As a dramatic counterpoint to this vertical porch is a two-story porch upheld by Tuscan columns wrapping around the facade along which flows a graceful balustrade curving at the corners of the projecting units. The wide entablature of the lower porch is ornamented with graceful swags, the curves of which reappear in the prominent oval glass panels of the front door and sidelight.

Dorothy and Elsie Shaver, daughters of Benjamin, created and successfully marketed dolls called “Little Shavers” with the silhouettes and costumes of the modern flapper. Later, Dorothy became the first woman vice president of the Lord and Taylor department store. The house is now a bed-and-breakfast.

Writing Credits

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors



  • 1898


What's Nearby


Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Carriage House Inn", [Mena, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 157-157.

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