A few years ago Joe and I were joking about starting another restaurant. We had both opened and operated many restaurants and resorts in the past and had thought that we were basically retired from the food industry. But I suppose it gets in your blood and before long we were looking for a quaint home in Eureka Springs that we could locate our restaurant in.
The house that Casa Colina occupies was built in the 1890's and is the only house ever to occupy Planner Hill, the street that takes you into downtown Eureka Springs. Known for the past half century as the "Johnson Place", this simple structure was built in the Vernacular Style by Benjamin Woodruff who owned and operated a saw and planing mill that was situated on top of the mountain.
In 1946 Glen T. Johnson bought it for his family of 8 children so they could finish their education in town after all the country schools were consolidated. At that time the house only had 2 rooms. What is now our second floor dining room was actually a rabbit hutch. In the remodeling, Joe took extreme care in preserving as much of the original materials as possible, and honoring our little houses's heritage. You can tell from the window that they used whatever materials they could find to build their homes. Sometimes things lined up, and sometimes they didn't. Looking at the windows outside if kind of feels like a tilting house. We just think it gives the property personality. Besides....after a few margaritas the windows look normal.
Dusted with snow December 1948
South end of house in 1948. The door is now our kitchen.
Casa Colina today.