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Myrtle Freeman and Jerry Riley Preserve 

County: Benton 

Size: 1 Acre 

Date Conserved: 2020 

Trail Miles: 0.1, easy 

Springtown Main Street, Springtown, AR 

Photo Jun 03, 11 43 03 AM.jpg

This 1-acre preserve was the historic home site for the Freeman-Riley family for nearly 100 years. Myrtle Freeman Riley Dover lived in one of two homes on the property as a teenager in the 1920s, and later purchased the homes and surrounding land herself. A store originally sat on the north end of the property and was later moved south, closer to Springtown Main Street, where it was later renovated into a home. As a teenager in the late 1920s, Myrtle Freeman lived here with her mother, stepfather, and siblings.  


Two decades later, Myrtle purchased the single-story home she had lived in as a girl, along with the neighboring historic two-story log house and the surrounding land. In October 1944, she and her four children moved into the single-story home before relocating to California in 1956. 

During the 1960s, Myrtle’s daughter Maribeth moved into the family home. Although two fires eventually destroyed the homes, the property remained in the family as her son Jerry Riley, along with wife Rose, purchased it in the early 1990s. 



Over the years, many generations of Myrtle’s extended family have visited the property to reminisce about when members of the Freeman-Riley family lived here. Upon Jerry’s passing in 2012, Rose chose to donate the property to the NWA Land Trust for posterity. Rose says she “hopes that people will enjoy the land as much as Jerry had as a child living here.” 

Parking is scarce for this pocket preserve.  Visitors may park on the shoulder in the grassy area in front of the trailhead on Springtown Main St. 


  • Nature- The preserve is a small “pocket” preserve with a short trail that leads to the north property line and a view of Flint Creek. Two towering mulberry trees mark the trail head and are sweet and easy pickings in early summer. Most of the site is floodplain forest with many Paw Paws, boxelders, and maples throughout.  Many migratory songbirds can be observed in spring.  



  • -Open dawn to dusk. 

  • - Enter at your own risk. 

  • - In case of emergency, dial 911. 

  • - Foot traffic only; no bikes or motorized vehicles. 

  • - Please clean up after your pet. 

  • - Do not feed or disturb wildlife. 

  • - No collecting of plants, flowers or other natural elements. 

  • - Unauthorized fishing and trapping prohibited. 

  • - Hunting prohibited. 

  • - No camping or campfires. 

  • - Pack out what you pack in; leave no trace. 

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