"Miss Laura's Social Club" greeting card
5 x 7"
John Bell, Jr. (1937-2013) "As a child I was shown how to draw stick figures to keep me entertained while my mother went about her chores. This sparked a fascination with the arts that has lasted throughout my lifetime and taken me through several professional careers: illustrator, product designer and fabric designer to name a few. Although I have visited our country from coast to coast, I was born and raised in Arkansas. I have a keen appreciation for the beauty of our state and the character of her people; and as a result, most of my paintings consist of AR scenery and turn of the century AR cityscapes. Old postcards, early photographs and on site photography are part of the research into each composition. All of these elements are combined to capture a moment in time that you can almost remember, even though you may have never been there."
- Courtesy The Department of Arkansas Heritage, quote by John Bell, Jr.
Built in 1896 as the Riverfront Commercial Hotel, the house at 123 First Street was bought by Laura Ziegler in 1898. Zeigler borrowed $3,000 from a banker to buy the building. She renovated the building and opened it as a brothel in 1903. She repaid her loan in only seventeen months.
Miss Laura's was the first brothel to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now used as the tourist information and welcome center for Fort Smith.
- Courtesy of EncyclopediaOfArkansas.net