Our Mission is to enrich lives through education, experience and exploration of our heritage.
The Rogers Historical Museum, an American Alliance of Museums accredited institution, is proud to be a department of the City of Rogers and pleased to serve all of the people of Northwest Arkansas. We are supported by two outstanding non-profit organizations: the Friends of the Rogers Historical Museum and the Rogers Historical Museum Foundation. The Museum is governed by a five member commission, which is appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council, and is responsible for making and maintaining policies, standards, and operational continuity. Daily operations are managed by our 9 member staff, with support from a loyal group of volunteers.
The Museum is governed by a Museum Commission appointed by the Rogers City Council. The Commission is responsible for making and maintaining policies, standards and operational continuity.
Emery Davis, Chair
Holly VanWinkle, Vice-Chair
John Ford, Secretary
Nancy Swearingen, RHM Foundation Liaison
1974: At the suggestion of Councilwoman Opal Beck, the Rogers City Council chose the creation of a history museum as Rogers’ American Bicentennial project. A nine-member commission was charged with developing the museum, with one of the museum's founding members, Vera Key, as the first chair. A volunteer auxiliary organization, the Friends of the Museum, was also created to support the commissioners in their task of creating and staffing the facility.
October 25, 1975: Located in the 1905 former bank building at 114 South First Street, the Rogers Historical Museum opened its doors to the public. The museum was largely a volunteer project, with a part-time clerk as the only paid staff member.
1982: The Rogers Historical Museum moved from its rented space to the Hawkins House at 322 South Second Street, which became the property of the City of Rogers through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Hawkins and family, who donated half the cost of the home. Built in 1895, the house's 1,000 square feet interior was repainted and new flooring was installed. The museum reopened on August 28, 1982. The museum's first director, Marianne Woods, was hired.
1987: A 5,600-square-foot addition was built adjoining the Hawkins House. The Key Wing, named in honor of Vera Key, opened on December 5, 1987. The museum's first collections registrar, curator, and educator were hired.
1994-1995: The 1895 Hawkins House received an extensive interior and exterior renovation in honor of its 100th birthday.
1995: The City of Rogers gave the old Rogers Post Office/Rogers Public Library building at 120 West Poplar Street to the museum to use as an Education Annex.
1999: The Rogers Historical Museum received accreditation by the American Association of Museums (now the American Alliance of Museums).
2009: Plans to build a new museum for a second expansion were made and the Rogers Historical Museum Foundation was established to manage a capital fundraising campaign and endowment.
2010: A property for the expansion behind the Key Wing at Third and Cherry Streets, including an existing workshop building, was purchased by the City of Rogers.
2015: Instead of building a new museum building, the historic Newt Hailey Ford Dealership building at 313 South Second Street, across the street from the museum, was purchased by the City of Rogers to renovate for the museum expansion.
2018: The Rogers Historical Museum was closed to the public during expansion construction. The Hailey Building was renovated for use as the museum's new galleries and administration offices, the Key Wing was repurposed into an education center, and the City of Rogers gave the old Masonic Lodge building at 300 West Poplar Street to the museum to renovate to house the museum's collections. An apple orchard, featuring historic Arkansas Black apple trees, was planted on the museum's property behind the Key Wing Education Center. The museum reopened on December 13, 2018.
2021: The Rogers Historical Museum returned the use of the Education Annex back to the City of Rogers.
2025: The Rogers Historical Museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary!