A Note from the Director

There is a real transformation that has taken place on Main Street Batesville. A downtown seen for many years as simply a place to work or to pass through is now taking on all the attributes of a new community. To complement the workplace, new lodging offerings, educational venues, and public spaces are all continuing to change the landscape.  

Most recently, thanks for Lyon College, murals are making a statement in downtown Batesville. Murals build a sense of community and make it welcoming and walkable and they make you want to go explore. Lyon College restored the historic Coca-Cola Mural in May. The completion was made possible by several people and organizations in Batesville. The Lyon College art students have left their impression on several other buildings including Siloe, Independence County Library, Fuller Bumpers - Attorney at Law, and the Melba Theater. The angel wing mural was painted by local artist, Bekah Paxson. It is located on the building where Siloe is located, behind The Pinto Coffee & Comida. Along with murals, the water drains are being transformed into artistic pieces, too. The Batesville High School art class has painted numerous drains downtown and they have done an exceptional job. Murals and public art projects create a tangible sense of place, resulting in increased foot traffic while adding vibrancy, color, and character to their surroundings.    

Several people do not realize there are over 50 small businesses downtown. Almost everyone one of them have an owner who will greet you when you come in the door. The oldest business on Main Street Batesville is Thompson’s Jewelry Store. Thompson’s Jewelry Store is owned and operated by David & Curt Thompson and the jewelry store has been in business for 95 years. When you think about a small business being in the same location, having the same name, and being the same family-owned operation for 95 years, you can appreciate how much of an accomplishment that truly is. The second oldest business on Main Street Batesville is Wheelers Boot & Shoe Repair. Mr. Wheelers has been in business for 46 years. When you enter Wheelers Boot & Shoe Repair, Mr. Wheeler himself is proudly working in his shop and is always ready for a great conversation. 

Another important part of downtown is the Main Street Batesville Farmers Market. The Main Street Batesville Farmers Market will be open on the first and third Saturdays of each month until October. Remaining dates are: July 6, July 20, August 3, August 17, September 7, September 21. There is a possibility that the market will extend into October but we will wait and see how the growers’ crops do during the season. The Main Street Batesville Farmers Market is open from 8am until noon inside the Pocket Park. Most of the markets will have live entertainment and kids activities. The vendors include farmers of vegetables and fruits, artisans of pottery and macrame, crafters of wood art and soaps, and bakers who create brownies and bread. There is a wide variety of goods that are available at the market and they are all locally made or grown.  

Maxfield Park is projected for completion this year. Danny Dozier has worked on the park for the last four years and his hard work shows. From the fountain to the native stonework, Maxfield Park is aesthetically stunning. It is located behind Autry’s White River Furniture. This area of land was donated with the request to transform it into a public park. People are already enjoying the park. Each time I have went there, someone has been either sitting at the tables or admiring the stonework. Maxfield Park has also been serving as an event venue. If you are interested in booking the park, contact Danny Dozier at (870) 307-9734. Other features that will be added include public restrooms and playground equipment. There are opportunities available for those who can contribute financially.  

Our organization has been busy promoting Main Street Batesville as a great place to work, visit, stay, and play. A few new businesses will be opening up here in the next few months that will fill a need in our community and we will be excited to announce when the time comes. 

“The preservation of unique neighborhoods containing historic landmarks ignites economic development and enriches communities. Historic buildings not only give a community character but also emphasize sustainability. From first dates to family dinners and shopping trips to nights on the town, America’s thriving historic main streets are where we come together and share experiences that shape our lives and communities.”
— Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

As the downtown area continues to grow so will the needs. More dining options, expanded retail hours, and entertainment options are all part of a natural progression that serves to form the fabric of a community. The win-win for all is how each of these individual pieces work together to create a vibrant downtown. 

As always, reach out to me if you have any questions/concerns concerning Main Street Batesville. We also have several task forces that you can be involved in to help make downtown even better.