Southern Tenant Farmers Museum

by | Aug 12, 2020

For those of us not familiar with this important period of history, a visit to the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum is a an eye-opener. The museum chronicles the farm labor movement in the Arkansas Delta and beyond, starting with the events that led up to the formation of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union in the summer of 1934.

A response to the exploitative and inequitable conditions endemic to the Delta’s agricultural system, an integrated group of 18 men joined forces to fight for the rights of tenant farmers, sharecroppers, and day laborers in the south. Women also became part of the union, serving in all capacities. Threats of violence forced the SFTU to move to Memphis in 1935, but its roots still run deep in Tyronza and the Arkansas Delta.

The museum opened in 2006. It is spread across three buildings, the former H. L. Mitchell Building and Lion Gas Station that together, served as the union’s headquarters from 1934 – 1935, and the adjacent former Bank of Tyronza. On the bank’s southern facade is the Cotton Heritage mural by Connie Watkins. 

Visit the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum

117 Main Street
Tyronza, AR 72386

Open Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Admission $5.00, $3.00 for groups, 65+, and children, ASU Students Free

More info
Southern Tenant Farmers Museum
870-487-2909

The Tyronza Commercial Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 2010

The Tyronza Water Tower was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 2007

The Tyronza Methodist Episcopal Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 2015

ASU Heritage Site

Images of the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum

Historic Images of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union

Images from the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union Records #3472, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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