Location of Tontitown in Washington County, Arkansas.
|Founded by||Pietro Bandini|
|Named for||Henri de Tonti|
|• Mayor||Paul Colvin Jr.|
|• Total||18.05 sq mi (46.74 km2)|
|• Land||17.91 sq mi (46.39 km2)|
|• Water||0.14 sq mi (0.36 km2)|
|Elevation||1,289 ft (393 m)|
|• Density||243.31/sq mi (93.95/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0073882|
Tontitown is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The community is located in the Ozark Mountains and was founded by Italian settlers in 1898. Known for its grapes and wines, Tontitown has hosted the Tontitown Grape Festival continuously since 1898. It is part of the Northwest Arkansas region, serving as a bedroom community for larger neighbors Fayetteville and Springdale. The town experienced a 160% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
Led by Catholic priest Pietro Bandini, who eventually became mayor of the city,Italian settlers working on Lakeport Plantation in the Arkansas delta moved to northwest Arkansas and found the climate and terrain similar to their native Northern Italy. Tontitown was settled in 1898 and named for Italian explorer Henri de Tonti.
The 35 initial families settled on 10 acres (4.0 ha) plots, planting gardens and vineyards. In 1909, the community incorporated, having grown to 1,400 acres (570 ha). Some residents resisted and resented the Italian influx, which largely spoke Italian and remained insulated. After threats and arson of barns and the school, Bandini confronted a group to stop the terrorization of the nascent Tontitown community.
The Tontitown grapes eventually became a major crop in Washington County following the construction of a Welch Company plant in Springdale near the railroad. The area also grew apples, blackberries, peaches, strawberries, and tomatoes for canning in Springdale.
Tontitown is located at(36.179043, -94.246572).
| Encyclopedia of Arkansas|
History and Culture
As of the 2010 census the ethnic and racial composition of the population was 92.0% non-Hispanic white, 0.3% African-American, 0.5% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 2.4% reporting two or more races and 5.7% Hispanic.
At the 2000 census there were 942 people in 351 households, including 273 families, in the city. The population density was 134.2 people per square mile (51.8/km2). There were 368 housing units at an average density of 52.4/sq mi (20.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.28% White, 1.70% Native American, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 2.23%. were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 351 households 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.4% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.2% were non-families. 18.5% of households were one person and 9.1% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.07. Tontitown has seen a very rapid growth in recent years as indicated by a 160% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
The age distribution was 27.0% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% 65 or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.1 males. Tonitown is part of the Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers metro area.
The median household income was $43,750 and the median family income was $47,589. Males had a median income of $32,917 versus $25,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,058. About 4.9% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.
The city is known regionally for the Tontitown Grape Festival. Started in 1898 as a harvest festival to celebrate the settlement's establishment, a spaghetti and fried chicken dinner continues the tradition.
Many original families remain in Tontitown or nearby Springdale.
Washington County is a regional economic, educational, and cultural hub in the Northwest Arkansas region. Created as Arkansas's 17th county on November 30, 1848, Washington County has 13 incorporated municipalities, including Fayetteville, the county seat and Springdale. The county is also the site of small towns, bedroom communities, and unincorporated places. The county is named for George Washington, the first President of the United States
Benton County is a county located in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 221,339, making it the second-most populous county in Arkansas. The county seat is Bentonville. The county was formed on September 30, 1836 and was named after Thomas Hart Benton, a U.S. Senator from Missouri. In 2012, Benton County voters elected to make the county wet, or a non-alcohol prohibition location. Benton County is part of the Northwest Arkansas region.
Avoca is a town in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 488 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, AR-MO Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Bethel Heights was a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. Always a small, sparsely populated community, the region coalesced around a school named Bethel in the late 19th century but did not incorporate until 1967 to avoid annexation by larger neighboring communities. The town offered police and fire protection and wastewater service to residents, but sent students to Springdale Public Schools and purchased water from Springdale Water Utilities. By the 21st century, Northwest Arkansas was gaining population rapidly, and Bethel Heights reincorporated as a city and grew from a population of 714 in 2000 to 2,372 at the 2010 census. Growth put pressure on the city's subsurface discharge wastewater treatment system, and following a series of wastewater treatment plant violations, voters dissolved the city and completely annexed into Springdale in August 2020.
Elm Springs is a city in Benton and Washington Counties, Arkansas, United States. The community is located between the Boston Mountains and the Springfield Plateau within the Ozark Mountains. Initially a community surrounding a spring-fed mill, the community flourished even after the mill's destruction during the Civil War.
Gateway is a town in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 405 at the 2010 census, up from 116 in 2000. It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, AR-MO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town's name reflects its situation as the "gateway" to and from Arkansas.
Lowell is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. Located within the Ozarks, first settlement was along Old Wire Road in the 1840s, and although destroyed during the Civil War, the community was reestablished by J. R. McClure and thrived when the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway came through the area in the 1880s. Today, the city is a growing bedroom community within the rapidly growing Northwest Arkansas region. Lowell is also home to the headquarters of trucking company J.B. Hunt. Lowell's population was 7,327 at the 2010 census, an increase of 46% since 2000.
Springdale is the fourth-largest city in Arkansas, United States. It is located in both Washington and Benton counties in Northwest Arkansas. Located on the Springfield Plateau deep in the Ozark Mountains, Springdale has long been an important industrial city for the region. In addition to several trucking companies, the city is home to the world headquarters of Tyson Foods, the world's largest meat producing company. Originally named Shiloh, the city changed its name to Springdale when applying for a post office in 1872. The four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city had a population of 69,797 at the 2010 Census.
Blue Eye is an incorporated town in Carroll County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 30 at the 2010 census. Blue Eye, Arkansas, is adjacent to Blue Eye, Missouri.
Altus is a city in Franklin County, Arkansas, United States. Located within the Arkansas River Valley at the edge of the Ozark Mountains, the city is within the Fort Smith metropolitan area. The epicenter of the Altus American Viticultural Area (AVA) within Arkansas Wine Country, the city is home to four wineries. Although founded as a coal mining community, the wine industry has driven the Altus economy since the first vineyards were planted in 1872. The population was 758 at the 2010 census, down from 817 at the 2000 census.
Farmington is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The community is nestled in a valley among the Boston Mountains, a subset of the Ozark Mountains. Although the first settlers came from the Deep South in 1828, the community did not incorporate until 1946. Located immediately west of Fayetteville in the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan statistical area, Farmington has been experiencing a population boom in recent years, as indicated by a 66% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. It has been characterized as a bedroom community by the University of Arkansas Community Design Center.
Goshen is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,071 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, AR-MO Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to Business Insider, it is the “most educated” city in the state of Arkansas.
Johnson is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The community is located on the Springfield Plateau deep in the Ozark Mountains and is surrounded by valleys and natural springs. Early settlers took advantage of these natural features and formed an economy based on mining lime, the Johnson Mill and trout. Although a post office was opened in the community in 1887, Johnson did not incorporate until it required the development of a city government to provide utility services in 1961. Located between Fayetteville and Springdale in the heart of the rapidly growing Northwest Arkansas metropolitan statistical area, Johnson has been experiencing a population and building boom in recent years, as indicated by a 46% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
Lincoln is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,249 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Northwest Arkansas metro area.
Winslow is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 391 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area.
Bald Knob is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,897 at the 2010 census. Located at the intersection of two of the state's natural regions, Bald Knob is often promoted as "where the Ozarks meet the Delta". Bald Knob is also a leading strawberry producer in the state, known for its yearly Strawberry Fest held during Mother's Day weekend. It was once known as the leading strawberry producer in the world. Bald Knob was established in 1881.
Georgetown is a town in southeastern White County, Arkansas, United States, overlooking the White River. First settled in 1789 before the Louisiana Purchase, the community is the oldest continuously settled area in Arkansas.
Washington Park is a census-designated place (CDP) in Broward County, Florida, United States. Its population was 1,672 at the 2010 census.
Springdale Public Schools is the public school district for students of primary and secondary education in Springdale, Arkansas and surrounding areas. The district contains three high schools, four junior highs, four middle schools, eighteen elementary schools, and a school of innovation. Established in 1884, the district and its schools are accredited by AdvancED. It is the state's largest school district, with more than 23,000 students.
Pietro Bandini was an Italian Catholic priest and missionary to the United States who was prominent in the Italian American community. He began his career as a Jesuit missionary in the Western United States, where he worked with Native American tribes, and went on to establish the Saint Raphael Society for the Protection of Italian Immigrants and Our Lady of Pompeii Church in New York City. He led a group of Italians to Sunnyside Plantation in Arkansas in the hopes of establishing an immigrant colony and later founded the city of Tontitown with them. For his work on immigration, he was lauded by Pope Pius X and the Queen Mother Margherita.
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