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Walmart: From Five-and-dime To Supercenter

It’s impossible to spend much time in Bentonville without encountering the influence of Wal-Mart, which was founded in the then-small town by local Sam Walton.

Groups that spend time in the city should get to know Walton’s story — and thus, the story of Bentonville — with a visit to the Walmart Museum.

“The Walmart Museum is located in the very first store that Sam Walton opened on his own,” said John Lamparski of the Bentonville CVB. “It starts with a small five-and-dime store out front. Then you enter the museum itself, which talks about the Walton family and their business. You exit into a 1950s ice cream shop, and groups get a nice scoop of Arkansas ice cream at the end of the tour.”

In addition to the nostalgia of the five-and-dime and the ice cream shop, many museum visitors especially enjoy seeing some of Walton’s personal effects, including the classic red pickup truck and the office where he did his daily business. Virtually every detail of the office remains as it was when Walton worked there, including the wood-paneled walls, the manila file folders and the photos from bird-hunting excursions.