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Tourism at a slow southern pace

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY|dewayne@mcnews.online

Lynna McWilliams helps some customers Saturday in the Gap Mercantile. – Photos by Dewayne Holloway

CADDO GAP – Caddo Gap experienced a flurry of activity at a slow Southern pace Saturday, April 28, with several groups making their way through the sleepy little community.
A trio of activities brought a variety of visitors to the southern part of Montgomery County. The events are a perfect example of how tourism can be more than a trip to the lake, or the trails.

The Montgomery County Extension Service hosted a grand opening for the county quilt trail Saturday. Caddo Gap and the surrounding area is home to 10 of the 19 quilt blocks on the trail. Volunteers sat at many of the locations to offer information and a friendly face for those enjoying the quilt trail.

The Ford Model A Spring Tour of the Ouachitas kicked off with a stop in Caddo Gap Saturday morning. Club members rode from Caddo Gap to Pencil Bluff and then on to Mena for lunch before heading to Norman. A host of beautifully restored Fords, as well as a couple antique chevy trucks, were on display Saturday morning before the tour began.
A cornucopia of tractor history swung through Caddo Gap Saturday afternoon when the Rusty Relics Tractor Club of Nashville, and the Tractors of the Past Club from Arkadelphia drove through town. The tractors took a lunch break while driving backroads from Norman and Caddo Gap.

The Ford Model A Spring Tour kicked off from the Gap Mercantile. Participants enjoyed a cold drink before they started their journey.

At the center of all this activity was the Gap Mercantile. The store is the heart of Caddo Gap and is the lone business open in town. The McWilliams family participates in the quilt trail with a quilt block on the side of the store. With a wide variety of cold drinks and snacks they also offered the perfect place for the Ford enthusiasts and tractor travelers to take a break and rest up for their travels.
Caddo Gap may seem like nothing more than a place you have to slow down as you pass through, but it offers a plethora of historical tidbits for those willing to stop and look. The Native American Monument at the center of 6th street shares information from Hernando DeSoto’s visit to the area. There is also a garden memorializing the Caddo Gap School and its alumni. The Montgomery County Master Gardeners do a great job landscaping the two areas, providing beautiful foliage throughout the year.
And of course, there is the Gap Mercantile. The McWilliams would love to see you so go by on Friday and Saturday for now. They will open up on weekdays starting in June.
Caddo Gap is just one of several communities worth visiting in Montgomery County. Get out and see what our county has to offer.

Members of the Rusty Relics Tractor Club and Tractors of the Past Club saunter down 6th Street in Caddo Gap on their way to Norman. – Photo by Dewayne Holloway
A pair of tractor clubs chose Caddo Gap and the Gap Mercantile as their lunch stop Saturday.
Caddo Gap Baptist Church is home to “Onward Christian Soldiers”, one of 10 quilt blocks in the Caddo Gap area. They are all part of the Montgomery County Quilt Trail.

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