Dry Creek Homestead Mercantile
21595 Hwy 65 N.
Pindall, AR 72669
Raising the roof: The upstairs had to be added first to provide a space for the antiques and collectibles. You can see the "hole" being constructed for a special chandelier right from the start. It wasn't until three years later that Rose Marie finally found the antler chandelier to fill the space of honor.
A light in the storm: Raising the chandler gave a sense of rightness to the whole project. You can also see that the floor was etched and stained and the walls were refinished by this point in time. Each piece of gray barnwood in the mercantile was taken from a barn in northern Arkansas, planed by hand, and nailed in place by Lou and Rose Marie.
This is a story about a piece of land a family. It is written primarily from the perspective of Angela, the Brandt's older daughter. Some of her opinions will not doubt flavor the writing. She thought you might enjoy getting to know our past and the past of this little piece of the Ozarks on some lazy afternoon.
Two stories actually should be told here. One is the story of the store itself including the land it sits on and the people who are part of the land's history. The other story, and the
story we'll start with, is the story of the Brandts and how their dream and this little piece of property met up.
Rose Marie Brandt is an idealist, but she is a very practical idealist. She has always had great dreams of helping people, particular young people, as a social worker, a teacher, and a mother. Louis Brandt is an idealist too, but he is much more the romantic idealist who fell in love with the idea of simple country living. While Rose Marie is in the kitchen baking and cooking in order to feed every hungry soul that she meets, Louis is telling stories and jokes and singing campfire songs. Rose Marie gets more people fed while Lou keeps
Rose Marie actually was all those things I listed and more. She was a case worker for family services after college. Then she was a foster parent (and a our mother) while caring for a small farm and goat dairy and custom hatchery. When my brother and I were very young, Rose Marie was also waitressing at night to make ends meet while we slept. Lou, on the other hand, joined the air force before he finished college to fix airplanes during the end of Vietnam. He left the military (although later joined the National Guard) while stationed in
Jacksonville, AR to work for an engineering firm. He was a lousy cook at the time (sorry Dad) so he often lived off take-out from Western Sizzlin' where Rose Marie was waitressing. One Christmas, she desperately needed a pick-up truck to bring our presents home, and Lou had a truck. Needless to say my brother and I had presents under the tree Christmas morning. Rose Marie and Lou were married two months later on Leap Day because that was the first day she had off (and she wasn't getting married on her lunch hour!)
They moved to northern Arkansas because they wanted a safe, clean environment to raise my brother and I, and they didn't feel that city life fit our family. The family goat dairy started up again after the move and ran until Angela (me!) went to college. We also have/had a few cows, a few goats, a few chickens, and a few other four-legged critters. Rose Marie eventually decided to go back to college for her education requirements to become a high school science teacher. And several years later, Lou became a highschool science and math teacher. They loved teaching "their kids," but the hours and the workload was getting to be more every year, and they weren't getting any younger. So they found a new dream for their "retirement" years- The Dry Creek Homestead Mercantile. They wanted to continue contributing to the local community by having simple grocery and general products available, and they wanted to share their love for the river and outdoors with a small camping, fishing, and fun section. At the same time, Rose Marie wanted to share pieces of history and stories of the past through the antiques and collectibles upstairs, and, of course, she wanted to feed everyone some simple good food.
The dream was a lot of work and planning. During summer, holidays and free days from teaching, they tore down an old barn, planed and stained the barn boards for the inside and outside, and dug new foundations to expand the old building. They searched auctions for the perfect lumber, lighting fixtures, and accessories and then refinished almost every piece. The store is still being slowly improved upon, being stocked more and more, and before fall the deli should be open. The Brandt's dream is becoming a reality, and we hope everyone enjoys all the love and work that went into its creation.
The Dry Creek Homestead Mercantile was one of the original homestead properties of this area. Parts of the property were sold off at various times, and it was swapped back and forth between.... It was owned by .... (coming soon!). About 56 years ago, a gas station was built along Hwy 65 by the Watts and ran for many years. After they retired, it was briefly rented and run by the Henson's, but they too closed down in the early 80's. The white block building lost its windows and doors and luster after it closed, but still held a promise for
The Brandts were fortunately able to acquire the property about seven years ago and expanded the building to include an upstairs, a dining area, and a kitchen. Almost the entire structure was refinished in an old rustic style reflective of the original homestead that sat here.
Did you know?
Pindall like many other towns in the area, such as Gilbert, got its start as a
railroad town. Originally known as Hurricane Switch and then Kilburn
Switch, Pindall grew along the St. Louis and North Arkansas Railroad Line brought to the area in 1903. This is an image of a old train depot along