Historic Elegance from El Dorado's Boomtown Era
We Need Your Help
To prepare the home as a historic bed and breakfast, the college has been securing antiques and antique-looking furniture for the facility. The college was fortunate to secure several antique pieces during the Calahan’s estate sale, but many items are still needed.
If you are interested in donating furniture or other items please fill out the form with a brief description and picture of your items. We will share them with the committee placing items in the home.
- 2 queen size bedroom sets (may not need nightstands)
- 3 queen-size mattresses (new) – the committee may want to prescribe the brand
- 2 twin size mattresses (new)
- 1 king-size mattress (new)
- Books and other reading material
- Folding luggage racks
- Dorm-sized refrigerators
- Small outdoor patio table/chairs
The McWilliams house was initially built as a home for W.F. and Estelle McWilliams and their family in the 1920s. The McWilliams brothers (WF. And J.H. McWilliams) were businessmen in El Dorado. Their properties included successful auto company, hardware and furniture stores, a funeral business, and the Rialto Theater, as well as other enterprises. They sold the house to the First United Methodist Church of El Dorado to be used as a parsonage for church leaders for several decades.
The home was sold by the church to Claude and Glynn Calahan in the 1960’s. South Arkansas Community College purchased the house as a life estate from the Calahan’s in 2007 to be a part of the central core of the college campus. The Calahan’s continued to live in the home until Glynn’s passing in 2016 and Claude’s move to be closer to his children in 2018.
This historical home was built during the city’s prosperous oil boom times. The home was a part of a thriving downtown area and next to the former El Dorado High School and former El Dorado Junior College. It is on the National Registry for Historic Places.
The college received grants from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Commission for three phases of renovation for the historic McWilliams home.
The first phase addressed the tile roof. The second phase allowed for the updating of water lines and other infrastructure, renovation of the garage for a caretaker cottage, and repair of an outbuilding. The third phase was a complete renovation of the interior of the home. A fourth phase is planned to address needed exterior painting and repair, sidewalks, and landscaping.
The home will be used as a Bed and Breakfast and reception hall for small events and guests. It will also serve as an on-campus and community training site for Culinary Arts program students. It is the intent of the college to open the home for receptions and overnight stays in spring 2020.