Donated by Martha Brogdon
Historically, grape production in Northwest Arkansas centered in Washington County. While grapes were grown by the first settlers to the region, the crop did not become a major one until residents of the Italian community of Tontitown began setting out vines in 1898.
Grape production in the county took a huge leap forward in the 1920s. Instrumental in this growth was the establishment of a Welch grape processing plant in Springdale. According to an 1937 Springdale News article, in 1920 Welch officials “. . . promised to care for the grape crops from certain Arkansas and Missouri sections and to take all the fruits from places within a 24-hour shipping radius. . .“