Hello! Tell us a little about your home.
The Parks-Reagan House is a 2600 square foot Colonial Revival built by George Parks (a merchant in Rogers) in 1898. The heavy rusticated limestone foundation of the house was laid by John Myler and much of the rough and finished wood material of this house was furnished by the Van Winkle Mills at nearby War Eagle. The home was purchased and occupied by Zenas Lytton (Z. L.) Reagan from 1923-1976. Z.L. left the home to his beloved and famous educator daughters – Agnes Lytton, Mary Sue, and Betty Lynn Reagan. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The Reagan sisters left the home and all of its belongings to the University of Arkansas. Eriks and I bought the home in October of 2014. With little modification in its almost 12 decades, it remains one of the oldest and best-preserved residences in Rogers.
What is your favorite thing about your home?
So hard to choose! The house in itself is beautifully designed. I love the large windows which keep the space bright and airy. We love to have company over and the spacious first floor layout is perfect for hosting, something the Reagans and Zvers have in common. I love how much people love our home and the Reagan Sisters. It is not uncommon to have strangers knock on the door and share stories about the sisters and how much they meant to them personally. We have learned so much about the home’s history and owners because people seek us out to share their memories.
What brought your family to Downtown Rogers?
Fate! Eriks and I were born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After taking a new position in NWA we were convinced we could only live in Fayetteville (we weren’t familiar with Rogers). Thank goodness the realtor who planned our showings insisted we look at one home in Rogers in Clower Farms. None of the homes in Fayetteville worked out and due to timing the only option left was the Rogers home. I cannot lie, we were pretty upset initially. This was not how we wanted to start our first journey away from our lifelong home.
Over lunch time I would drive around NWA and try to familiarize myself to our new location. It wasn’t but one month when I stumbled upon Downtown Rogers. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful older homes and tree lined narrow streets. It reminded me of home and I immediately brought my husband down to see. Shortly after we made an effort to frequent downtown shops, restaurants and bars to get a feel for the people. In no time at all curious, friendly locals were befriending us and inviting us to their homes and gatherings. We quickly discovered we had found “our people” and put Hunter Prowell to work on finding us a house in DTR. Buying the Parks-Reagan house was truly a matter of right place, right time! And of course having on the ball realtors! Thanks Hunter and Martha!!!
Did you make any additions/remodel/changes to the home? OR possibly share what you plan to do.
We haven’t done anything to date. Initially we thought we wanted to renovate right away, but we’re happy we took the last few years to live in the home and “get to know” her.
We are currently working with John Mack (JKJ Architects) and the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program to rehabilitate the home. We hope to begin construction within the year. The biggest changes will be adding a garage and converting the attic into a master bedroom. We need to update the mechanicals: plumbing, electrical and hvac. It is imperative to us that we maintain the integrity of the home, but also prepare it to last another 119 years.
What is one of your favorite things to do in downtown Rogers?
We love to simply hangout with the neighbors, in a garage, on a porch or at Club Frisco we are surrounded by amazing, kind people that take care of each other, like to have fun and hang out together. Not a weekend goes by that someone doesn’t open their home to the neighborhood. We live in a very special place and are so thankful to have found our Arkansas family.