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Fall tour will focus on historic communities in Arkansas River Valley

The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas will have a fall tour of the Arkansas River Valley.

A motor coach will depart at 9:30 a.m. from Little Rock on Oct. 19 and return that evening.

Registration includes transportation on motor coach; Brunch at a historic diner; a tour of Subiaco Abbey; a tour and tasting at the Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyards and Arkansas Wine Museum in Paris; tour of the 1906 St. Boniface Church in Bigelow; and a special evening event with a traditional spaghetti supper in Little Italy along with a program on the history of that enduring community.

The day starts with a tour of a historic German neighborhood in Little Rock. Guests will hear about the businesses and institutions that supported the community throughout the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

The next stop is on Russellville for brunch at a 1947 Art Moderne-style diner. The brunch includes a program by David Ware, Arkansas Capitol Historian, on the history of Prohibition in Arkansas.

The tour then swings south to Subiaco Abbey and its grounds with Father Aaron Pirrera, OSB. Learn about the Benedictine Monks who founded the Abbey in 1878 and the German Swiss migration that helped shape the area.

Next is a visit to the Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyards for wine tasting and snacks. There is also a tour of the Arkansas Wine Museum with founder Bob Cowie.

The tour then makes a turn East and to Bigelow for a stop at the 1906 Carpenter Gothic St. Boniface Church, a parish that historically consisted mostly of immigrants from Germany, Switzerland and Ireland.

The tour concludes in the Little Italy community in extreme west Pulaski County for a traditional spaghetti supper prepared by parishioners of the St. Francis of Assisi Church. There will be a talk by Christopher Dorer, author of Boy, the stories I could tell: A narrative history of the Italians of Little Italy.

For more information or to buy tickets, call 372-4757. Reservations must be made by Oct. 11.

Cost is $100 for HPAA members, $125 for non-members, includes a discounted individual membership, and $200 for Sponsors and that includes listing in ramble program and priority bus seating.

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