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Take a Delightful Tour!

Spend part of your day taking a relaxing tour of daffodil gardens and historic homes. All tours originate from the First United Methodist Church Welcome & Hospitality Center (121 Harrison St.).

JUMP TO:
Daffodil Garden Tours
• Daniel Gardens
• Grace Hill
• Dawson Daffodil Farm
• Oakland Farm
• Oakland Cemetery Walk
• Dining in the Daffodils
Historic Homes Tours
• McCollum-Chidester House Museum
• The Morgan-Dietrich House
• The Powell-Dietrich House
Antique Car Show
Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot
Driving Tour Information

Daffodil Garden Tours

Friday & Saturday, 9 am - 4:30pm

Daffodil PoemWalk among and view hundreds of thousands of daffodils in our three Showcase gardens; the Daniel's Japanese and Daffodil Gardens, and Grace Hill, with self-guided visits to Oakland Farms, the Dawson Daffodil Farm and Thera Lou Adams' naturalized yard. The Garden Tours originate from the First United Methodist Church at 116 Jefferson St. in downtown Camden.

The Festival Committee strongly recommends Festival Guests take advantage of the Shuttle Service provided while visiting the Gardens and Homes. Very limited parking is available at these locations. Considerations will be given to handicapped patrons and other special needs.

Daffodil Garden Tours (and shuttle transportation)
3 privately owned daffodil gardens plus drive-by, $35.00 adults, $15 ages 6-18, FREE 5 and under
Individual Garden Tour, $7.00

Daniel Gardens

2220 Maul Road. Master Gardener or self guided tours. Eight acres in Japanese Garden, featuring millions of daffodils and several hundred varieties of trees. Gardens created by the late Roxane and Dennis Daniel. Original home of the Daffodil Festival.

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Grace Hill

Old Wire Road / 3675 Ouachita 3

‘Welcome to Grace Hill’ reads the sign at the street . . . and ‘welcome’ it is to this country home and garden.

Grace Hill is the home of Frank and Joy Wright Wietecha. The name “Grace Hill” comes from Joy’s Aunt Grace, who gave Joy this family farm land which has been in Joy’s family since the 1830’s.

Completed in 1992, the home is a copy of the George Wythe house (circa 1740) in Williamsburg, Virginia. Attention to detail has proven to present a simple home with a lot of ‘presence.’

The landscaping was begun years before the house was built and continues to evolve.

The several acre front area features 3 nineteenth-century sugar kettles brought up from the New Orleans area. These kettles have been turned into water features and are accented in drifts of naturalized daffodils. Magnificent old magnolia trees, English oaks, boxwoods, and drifts of daffodils . . . you just can’t get any more traditional or southern than this.

The back of the home has a two-story porch overlooking the immediate back lawn. This back lawn is centered by a 30-foot Koi pond featuring fish from Ogata, Japan. Many are quite large and striking—see if you can spot the solid black ones.

This immediate back area is accented with lavish plantings of pansies, kale, and violas—all for the pleasure of the Festival

Dining with the Daffodils was established years ago here at Grace Hill. Come join us on the ‘back lawn’ where we have set up tables ‘al fresca.’ We will serve you hot soup and a sandwich and ’N’Orleans’ bread pudding (that is legendary—really!). All this is home-cooked and served by the Friends of the Fort Lookout Civil War Museum and Interpretive Park (sponsored by the Ouachita County Historical Society).

There are 2 dovecotes with white doves, a flock of lavender guineas, and ‘Eli’ the great dane—all claiming ownership of the property. But right now . . .it is the daffodils that have full command!!!

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Dawson Daffodil Farm

2698 Ouachita 3 Carrying on the family tradition started by the late John Dawson, Jr., the Dawson children are opening the Dawson Daffodil Farm to the public during the Camden Daffodil Festival. John Jr. had the foresight to preserve this property after the original owner, Mrs. O.L. Fellers passed away some years ago. By doing so, he preserved thousands of daffodil bulbs to showcase to the public and pay tribute to the lady who spent her whole life developing new bulbs and sharing those with others. This place is truly a naturalized diamond in the rough and offers serene paths through the woods and daffodil drifts. Bring your camera – the photo opportunities are numerous and may include wildlife!

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Oakland Farm

2474 Oakland Six generations of the Tate Family have cultivated the land at Oakland Farm, starting in the late 1870s - the early generations with cotton; the fourth, fifth, and sixth generations with daffodils. A simple farm house for the early settlers has evolved into the location of one of the largest Fall arts and crafts festivals in the South – the B&PW Barn Sale.

Walter and Ruth Tate began developing the semiformal gardens in the early 1950s, and planted hundreds of azaleas, daffodils and daylilies among the pecan trees. To this day, many of the original plantings thrive and bloom every year. Ruth pursued transplanting daffodil bulbs from Mrs. O.L. Fellers' gardens (now the Dawson Daffodil Farm) upon her death. Massive naturalized offerings were added to the existing floral landscaping, and provide an extended blooming season in the spring. Visitors are welcomed to take a self-guided tour of Oakland Farm and enjoy the genteel surroundings under the shadow of the old Barn and around the ponds. Natures’ own resident deer and other animals may also join the tour.

Oakland Farm is now owned and protected by Bob and Amanda Tate Wunnenberg

Bob and Amanda Tate Wunnenberg keep the garden auger busy by continuing to add daffodils to the landscape yearly. They have recently designated an area of the St Louis garden for bulbs shared from Shaw Gardens and other sources by friend and daffodil guru, Beth Holbrook.

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Oakland Cemetery Walk

107 Maul Rd - Available on Garden Tour Shuttle Route

107 Maul Rd Oakland Cemetery was Camden’s first community cemetery.  The land was donated to the City in 1830 by William Bradley an early pioneer and community leader.  Within the gates of this beautiful old cemetery are the graves of Camden’s oldest families. 

Twice yearly costumed re-enactors share the stories that shaped and impacted this community on the banks of the Ouachita River.  Stories of River boats, enterprise, Indians and war. 

Come join us at Oakland from 10:00 until 3:00 on March 10th and 11th, during  the 2017 Daffodil Festival while we take a “Walk Back in Time”

Families $15.00
Adults $7.00
Children 6-12 $3.00
under 6 free

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Grace Hill - Dining in the Daffodils

3675 Ouachita 3 If you would like to have lunch during your garden tour, you might want to plan on "Dining in the Daffodils" at Grace Hill on Old Wire Road and being serenaded with beautiful violin music while you enjoy the ambience of the garden and good food. Lunch will be served between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day at a cost of $15.

Please note: private vehicles will be allowed in the gardens at Grace Hill for those eating lunch, at a cost of $7.00 per vehicle.

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Historic Homes Tours

Friday & Saturday, 9 am - 4pm

Step back into history on this tour of Historic Homes.

  1. McCollum-Chidester House Museum, 926 W. Washington St.
  2. The Morgan-Dietrich House, 807 Washington St.
  3. The Powell-Dietrich House, 305 California St.
  4. Antique Car Show, 1108 W. Washington St.
  5. Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot, 314 Adams

Ticket price is $25 for all homes or $7 each at the door if you prefer to tour only one or two homes.

The Festival Committee strongly recommends Festival Guests take advantage of the Shuttle Service provided while visiting the Gardens and Homes. Very limited parking is available at these locations. Considerations will be given to handicapped patrons and other special needs.

 

Tickets can be purchased at:
First United Methodist Church Atrium
(121 Harrison Ave SW, Camden, AR 71701)
or Downtown at the Information booth (at the corner of Washington and Adams)

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McCollum-Chidester House Museum

926 Washington St. 9-4 pm

The McCollum-Chidester House Museum was built by Peter McCollum, a local merchant, in 1847 on land received by a grant from the United States Government. It was the first house in Camden built of planed lumber, had the first wallpaper, and the first kitchen in Camden to have an iron cook stove. The furnishings were brought up the Ouachita River from New Orleans, Louisiana, by steamboat. It has five fireplaces. The house was sold to John T. Chidester in 1858 and was his headquarters for the famous Chidester Stage Line that ran for a time from Alabama to Yuma, Arizona. The furnishings in the house are the original furnishings of the Chidester family. The home was purchased by the Ouachita County Historical Society in 1963 and opened as a museum. This house was the setting of the TV miniseries, "North & South" and entertained movie stars, Patrick Swayze and Kirstie Alley.

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The Morgan-Dietrich House

807 Washington St. Presented by Dr. Fred Dietrich. 9-4 pm

This handsome English Tudor structure of seasoned pine and white stucco was built in 1927 by John Henry and Marguerite Morgan. Tom Harding of Little Rock was the architect. The Morgans sold the house to banker, Pete Hildebrand, who soon filed bankruptcy. The Morgans bought the house back and lived there until 1944. Two other families lived there and Dr. Dietrich purchased it in 1969.

The entrance and downstairs feature a split level foyer, sunken living room, dining room, kitchen, sun room, powder room, breakfast room and a 180 degree (half circle) spiral staircase with a wrought iron railing. The mantel, woodwork and ten panel doors are constructed of a special red gum. The upstairs has three bedrooms, two full baths, trunk room, laundry room and back stairway down to the kitchen. The partial basement has a garage, bath, second laundry room, small kitchen and den.

Furnishings include antiques. Some inherited and some accumulated, several grandfather clocks, antique fans, and large gold frame family pictures, including one of his great-grandfather, Oliver Basham, who was Treasure of the State of Arkansas in 1861.

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The Powell-Dietrich House

305 California St. Presented by Dr. Fred Dietrich. 9-4 pm.

The Powell-Godwin-May House was built about 1859 by Benjamin T. Powell.

Architecturally, it displays the characteristics of the design and construction in vogue in Arkansas among the prosperous plantation owners. Perhaps even more significant is the fact that it is a representative type of the town houses which were being built by those persons whose wealth was derived from the growing and selling of cotton.

The town of Camden was virtually created by cotton. It was the head of navigation on the Ouachita River and was in the heart of an area ideally suited for growing cotton. Its growth coincided with the cotton boom. In 1843-1844 Camden was still a small river village, but by the 1850's elaborate homes like the Powell-Dietrich House were being built, and during the shipping time, cotton bales lined all the streets leading to the wharf. By 1860, Camden was the greatest cotton mart in southern Arkansas. The Powell-Dietrich House survives as one example of the architecture developed in Arkansas during this period.

The Powell-Dietrich House was intended to be innovative, but the only noteworthy innovation which now survives is the fact that it was apparently one of the first houses to be painted with the, then new, "steamboat paint".

When the Civil War started the house was occupied but still incomplete. In the spring of 1861 Benjamin Powell's eldest son, John Powell, joined the Confederate Army and went to war. While serving in the East he sent home some young cedar trees from Acquia Creek, where his unit was encamped, but John Powell was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga and never returned home to see them.

In April of 1864, when Federal troops occupied Camden, General Rice established headquarters in the Powell-Dietrich house and remained until Camden was evacuated.

The Powell-Dietrich House was built by Benjamin T. Powell and passed on to his youngest son after Mr. Powell's death. Powell's son subsequently sold the property to Mr. Solomon Block, who, in 1888, sold the property to Mr. W. E. McRae. In the mid-nineteen twenties the house was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Carl Ramsey. It was then sold to Mr. Elbert Godwin and occupied by the Godwin family until 1962 when it was sold to Mr. R. Paul May.

Fred Dietrich DDS, purchased this property from the May estate in 2002.

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Other Tours & Locations

Step back into history on this tour. Includes our renown Historic Homes and one of South Arkansas' largest Antique car shows.

Antique Car Show

1108 W. Washington 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Free (Saturday Only)

Come and see one of South Arkansas' largest Antique Car Shows.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot

314 S Adams No admission charge. Open Friday 9-4 pm.

Built in 1913 and lovingly restored in 1995, the Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot now houses the Main Street & Camden Area Chamber of Commerce.

The depot served first as a passenger station, then primarily as a Freight station until it closed in December of 1983.

The allure of trains is inherent in many of us. Many of us remember those gargantuan engines puffing and steaming into town, then roaring away from depots on silver ribbons. We have heard their mysterious wailing late at night. Depots, the work stations of the railroad, also hold memories. They were much more than just a place to buy a ticket.

In 1913, the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway Company built Camden's depot down on Adams Street, just a stone's throw from the Ouachita River. Construction cost was $7,600. The Missouri-Pacific Lines absorbed the Iron Mountain System in 1917. This depot served first as a passenger station, and then primarily as a freight station until it closed in December of 1983.

The Mo-Pac, as it is familiarly known, was the largest and most important railroad in Arkansas. Its roots go back to July, 1851. Mo-Pac grew through mergers with dozens of smaller railroads operating within the same regions. At that time, the main line entered the state at Memphis, continuing to Little Rock, then taking a northwesterly route to Booneville. Numerous branch lines provided service to Fordyce, El Dorado, Malvern, Camden, Hot Springs and Dardanelle.

By 1927, the Missouri-Pacific Railroad Company operated a total of 705.22 miles of track in Arkansas. By the 1930's, the line had extended into Oklahoma, with two branches running south through the timber and oil country of south and southwest Arkansas.

What did railroad development mean to our area? Let's take a brief look:

"The town that is now named Chidester was laid out in 1881 by the old Iron Mountain Railroad. That was the end of the line at that time. Coming to Camden meant a stagecoach ride from that point. Chidester literally owes its existense to the railroad. At the turn of the century, Lester, another Ouachita County community, had coal and clay mines known as the Maximo mines. The rail lines allowed these products to be moved out of the area into the market. Without the rail system, the communities of Louann and Reader would have had great difficulty getting their products out and into the world of commerce. It is overwhelming to think of the amount of timber taken out by rails, or the numbers of barrels of oil borne by the railcars. Without the railroad none of this could have happened.

Timber, one of the main sources of income for our area was, and still is, moved primarily by rail. Grapette, a soft-drink invented in Camden and shipped all over the nation, and some foreign countries, left Camden, by railcar.

With the onset of World War II, rail traffic increased to the point that at times there were 30 trains daily through Camden. Many freight trains bore army tanks and artillery used to help the United States win the war on two fronts. The passenger trains carried soldiers who would ultimately find their way to the Pacific or European front. Connections were made here in Camden on the Missouri-Pacific to go to the training camps in Louisiana, California, or wherever their particular destination was. The mail was moved on the railroad, and the mail moved the nation. In wartime and in peacetime, communication has always been crucial. The depot was the spot where the mail was sent out and brought in. Western Union was very often found in the depots around the country. Urgent messages to loved ones have gone out from our depot via the telegraph machine.

The Mo-Pac depot was the scene of many dramatic moments for people arriving and departing Camden. Newlyweds, embarking on thier honeymoons, have fond memories of making their departure from this depot. Our only remaining depot, the Mo-Pac Depot, must be saved. It is an integral part of our history, both economical and cultural, and perhaps something less definable, our heritage of memories. It will become, when the dream of revitalizing this structure comes true, something practical, something needed here in Camden: a Chamber of Commerce office and a museum. Other communities in Arkansas have saved their depots. They have turned them into attractive and functional sites. So can we!"

Jo Anne Holyfield, Camden's Back on Track Cookbook1995

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A drive by tour of the Historic Clifton Greening District, www.cliftongreening.com and the Washington Street Historic District, www.washingtonstreethistoricdistrict.com is also available.

The Festival Committee strongly recommends Festival Guests take advantage of the Shuttle Service provided while visiting the Gardens and Homes. Very limited parking is available at these locations. Considerations will be given to handicapped patrons and other special needs.

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Tickets can be purchased at:
First United Methodist Church Atrium
(121 Harrison Ave SW, Camden, AR 71701)
or Daffodil Junction (at the corner of Washington and Adams).
*FREE Festival maps are available on location.