A Community of Excellence! Gravette History ...

Phone:  479 . 787 . 8998                                   PO Box 112                        Gravette, Arkansas  72736

Nebo (Old Town) in Chalk Valley was the original settlement of the community.  It was platted in the 1870s by Joseph P. Covey who moved to Missouri in 1881.  Ellis Tillman Gravett opened the Chalk Valley Distillery in Nebo and also owned a general store.  In 1891, he moved his store west out of the valley to what is now downtown Gravette.

On July 17, 1893, Ellis Tillman (E. T.) and Laura Gravett signed a right-of-way for the Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Gulf Railroad. Land was sold to the Missouri Coal and Construction Company. With E. T. Gravett managing the project, the land was platted for the original town, and papers were filed July 26, 1893. The town of Gravette received its charter on August 9, 1893. No one is sure how or when the town got the extra “e” at the end of its name. The most popular story involves confusion within the postal service and a town with a similar name. Gravette celebrates its founding on “Gravette Day,” the second Saturday in August.

The city bought the historic Kindley house and, with the help of a substantial grant from the Arkansas Department of Historic Preservation, completely renovated the building. It now houses the Gravette Historical Museum, which contains exhibits of Captain Kindley’s life and military service, natural history displays, a photo gallery of graduating classes from Gravette High School extending back to the 1920s, and many items depicting Gravette’s past.


Area attractions include the Spanish Treasure Cave just north of the city limits. This cave was rediscovered in 1885. According to legend, Spanish soldiers raided an Indian camp and stole a fortune in gold. The gold was hidden in one of the passageways in the cave. Seeking revenge, the Indians found the Spaniards at the cave and killed them but did not recover the gold. Treasure hunters searched fruitlessly for the gold for years. The cave became a tourist attraction open to the public in the late 1930s. The passages extend for miles, and there are many yet to be explored.

Gravette High School 1910

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