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Rogers Historical Museum  

Donation of the Month


Grape Press
Donor: Mr & Mrs. William Gustaitis 

Grapes have been grown throughout the world for centuries; in fact 75,866 square kilometers of the world are dedicated to grapes.  Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange and pink.  "White" grapes are actually green in color, and are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape.  The best known areas are in France, producing some of the best tasting wines.  However, grapes can be found growing across the globe and sold raw or dried and as juices, wines, or jellies.  Approximately 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, and 2% as dried fruit. 

Grapes were a common fruit in Northwest Arkansas in the early 20th Century.  In Benton County, there were almost 16,000 vines in production in 1910.  Starks Wine Ranch in Monte Ne, for instance, was one of these early grape producers for wine.  The family vineyard consisted of four 160-acre plots on a bluff along the White River, which they named the Vinola Wine Ranch. Lined with stone, the cellar at Vinola was filled with wooden barrels for aging the wine and racks for storing the bottles.  Vinola wines won several medals in the U.S. and abroad, including one in 1893 from the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Grapes were introduced on a grand scale, however, when the Welch Company set up a factory in Springdale in 1920.  By 1950, Washington County was the 23rd largest grape-producing county in the United States.  Growers boasted over 1.8 million vines in production, which had grown from only 50,000 vines in 1910. Resurgence in handicrafts and canning in the 1930s to 1950s saw the production of homemade jellies, jams and juices.  Homemade grape juice is quite simple and the taste is much better than store bought.  This grape press dating to about 1930 was used for home production of grape juice.  A round wooden disk at the base of the turning mechanism pressed the grapes until the juice was released.  The slatted bin allowed the juice to flow out and trapped the peel, seeds and other unsavory bits.

Back when grape production was at its height, Benton County made the list of top 100 grape-producing counties, ranking 49th with 252,000 vines.  However, by 2000 grape production had largely come to a halt. 


More Donations of the Month

Arts & Crafts
Charles Summey Painting
Elsie Sterling Drawings & Photo
Erwin A. Doege pastel
M.E. Oliver’s Strange Scenes in the Ozarks
Roy Harris Carved Wagon
Seed Art

War Eagle Store

Household Goods
Andersons Grade A Egg Scale
Applegate Apothecary Bottle
Benton County Wine Bottles
Circa 1923 Eureka Vacuum Cleaner
First M.E. Church, North souvenir plate, circa 1910
Gasoline powered iron
Grape Press
John Edwards china
Open Salts
Red Wing Crock, 1910s
Rogers Fairgrounds Souvenir
Cut Glass Dresser Box
Marshmallow Toaster
Fairy Lamps
Bubble Up Soda Bottles
Farmers Produce Co. Feed Sack
Butter Molds
Hand Painted China
Flow Blue China
Ritz Christmas Lites
Stove Top Steamer
Sunbeam Dairy Milk Bottle & Photo

Paper Ephemera, Books, & Photos
Advertising Folding Table
Camp Joyzelle Booklet
Callison-Lough Funeral Home Sketch
1943 Benton County Nursery Company Catalog
Apple Blossom Festival Postcard Booklet, April 1927
B.P.O.E. photo, 1960
Christmas Carols Songbook
Civil War Clothing Ledger
“Coin” Harvey family letters
Edsel Ford Poetry Books
Frisco Railroad Pass
Gold mine photos
Lime Works Stock Certificate
Louise Thaden Note
Menu from the Orchard Room
Cumberland Presbyterian Ladies Cook Book
Rogers Public School catalog, 1892-3
Elizabeth Miller Autograph Books
Discharge Papers
New Year Postcard
Political Campaign Buttons
Women's Study Club Program
Howard Fowler Photographs
Railroad Automatic Car Identification
1933 World's Fair Objects
Tobacco Tax Receipts
Valentines cards
Vandover & Sons Livery Stable Photograph
Printing Blocks
World War II Photos

Billiken Doll
Russ Troll Doll
Schoenhut Circus Toys
Steiff Teddy Bear
Horse Drawn Wagon
Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring
J.D. Kestner Doll
Winter Sled

Textiles, Clothing, & Clothing Accessories
Confederate Officer’s Artillery Frock Coat?
Apple Blossom Festival Crown
Bicorn Hat
Blackburn Preaching Shirt
Christmas Stocking
Friendship Quilt
Garrett family coverlet, 1860s
Help One Another Club Quilt
Mary Van Winkle Steele’s Traveling Dress
McClain Family Crazy Quilt
Norman Tailor System dress pattern
Pillbox Hat
Hannah Lumm Dress
Whig Rose Quilt
Celluloid Items
Hair Work Jewelry
Evening Gown
Mesh Hand Bags
World War I Uniform
1906 Wedding Gown
Majorette Uniform & Spirit Ribbons


1860s Green & Sager Bedstead
Henry Tribble’s Speaker Cabinet
Tom Morgan’s Desk & Chair
W.H. Jewett Piano
Adding Machine Stand
Apple Cider Press
Colonial Revival Dining Room Chair
B.F. Gleason Cooling Table
Grundig Majestic radio

Kroger Shelves

Barbed Wire Samples
Betty Blake’s Composition Stick
Carry A. Nation Hatchet Brooch
Cash Register
Harris Baking Co. Souvenir
“Coin” Harvey Death Mask
KAMO Shovel
Erwin Funk’s Newspaper Convention Badges
Diamond Jubilee Badges
Tracy Lockhart’s Peddler Basket
Van Winkle Lumber
Surveyor's Compass
Remington Revolver
John Deere Corn Sheller
Rogers High School Dedication Stone
Permanent Wave Machine
City of Rogers License Plate
Chaplain's Field Kit
WWI Army helmet & print

Civil War Re-enactor Items
Lever Action Winchester Model 1892
Silica mining bucket






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