Preserving and telling the story of the Paint Factory is as equally important to Cromwell and our partners as the renovation of the building itself. Over the last two years, we have collected a number of historical items from various stages in the Paint Factory’s history. These items will be assembled into a rotating exhibit in Cromwell’s new Headquarters.
When the Paint Factory was first purchased, we were excited about opening the building’s vault. Original to the building, this vault contained an old safe, paint cans, records for the paint company, and drawings from the construction of the original building in 1947 as well as the addition that was designed in 1971.
The family of Stebbins and Roberts’ founder, Albert Howard Stebbins, has also generously donated a number of items that will be housed in the exhibit. These items include a colorful portrait of Mr. Stebbins with East Little Rock in the background as well as a paint deck from the Stebbins and Goldsmith era from 1914-1916. Former alumni of the company have also provided us with many items from the company’s past.
With the help of extensive online searches and the keen eyes of our employees, we have acquired several items for our collection, such as a Sterling Paint Sign that hung in the Cabot Lumber Yard, and a Sterling Paint clock. We have also collected several items that were found on the site during the renovation, including several pieces of terracotta that might have belonged to the foundation of the Little Rock Box Company.
The story of one of Little Rock’s most successful businesses is one that we are honored to tell. The vault, along with the building itself, will serve as a living monument to an important part of our city’s past, present, and future.