Curran Hall

Curran Hall History

  • Curran Hall was built in 1842 as a private residence by Colonel Ebenezer Walters as a gift to his wife.  

  • Just before the house was finished in the summer of 1843, Mary Walters died. Her heartbroken husband sold the house and promptly left Arkansas.

  • David J. Baldwin and his wife lived in the home until 1849.

  • James and Sophia (Fulton) Curran and their three children made Curran Hall their happy home while he became a prominent Little Rock lawyer.

  • A year after James Curran’s death in 1854, the widowed Sophia married Curran’s former law partner, George Claiborne Watkins, attorney general (1848-1851) and chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court (1852-1854). The family left Little Rock after the start of the Civil War.

  • In the early 1880s, Alice Curran Conway inherited the house and sold it to the Frolich family--Jacob, his wife Mollie and their three children.After completing his terms as secretary of state, Jacob and family moved to Washington, D.C.

  • . In 1884, the widow Mary Eliza Woodruff Bell (daughter of William Woodruff the founder of the Arkansas Gazette) and her four daughters, Rolfe, Eva, Hetty and Fanny—all teachers—moved into the home.

  • Mary Eliza’s granddaughter, Averell Reynolds Tate was the last resident. In fact, she was born in 1908 in what’s now the Visitor Information Center. Averell moved out in 1993. By that time, Curran Hall was in disrepair and was in danger of demolition.

  • The City of Little Rock and the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission saved the residence from demolition in 1996.

  • After purchasing the house, the Little Rock Visitor Foundation led the way in renovating it for use as Little Rock’s first official visitor information center.

  • Curran Hall was formally opened to the public as the Little Rock Visitor Information Center on May 18, 2002.

  • The Quapaw Quarter Association won a contract to oversee the Little Rock Visitor Information Center in 2007.