New owners take the reins at historic War Eagle Mill in Arkansas

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 2,192 views 

War Eagle Mill, a historic landmark in Arkansas, has a new owner.

According to an announcement Friday (Feb. 16), Mark and Cristin Hall of Bentonville have taken ownership of the property southeast of Rogers in Benton County from Elise and Marty Roenigk of Eureka Springs. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stewart Nance with Cantrell Griffin Business Brokers facilitated the transaction and announced the deal.

“I am thankful for those who have assisted in carrying forth our vision for the Mill,” Elise Roenigk said in a news release. “And for the millions of visitors who have come to the [War Eagle] valley, not only for the fair but year-round to enjoy the majestic location.”

Friday’s announcement said the mill has undergone refurbishments to preserve its historical significance and enhance its appeal to future generations. Notably, a full-scale restoration of the mill’s third floor has been completed, making way for more significant events such as weddings.

The mill is closed for renovations to the first two floors to repair damage from a busted pipe due to cold weather in January. It is expected to re-open in March.

The Roenigks pass the torch after two decades of ownership. Established in 1832, War Eagle Mill is a historic gristmill and popular tourist destination known for its picturesque setting, historic bridge and production of whole grains and flours.

In 1973, Zoe Medlin Caywood and her parents, Jewell and Leta Medlin, rebuilt the fourth War Eagle Mill to be constructed on the site along the banks of War Eagle River. Zoe Caywood owned and operated the mill for over thirty years until selling the mill in 2004 to the Roenigks.

Under new ownership, plans include:

  • Offering nightly rentals.
  • Adding a coffee bar and producing seasonal treats like apple cider and donuts.
  • Expanding the menu and amenities to create a more family-friendly experience.

“War Eagle is an iconic part of Northwest Arkansas,” Mark Hall said. “The opportunity to take that forward and expand on what [the Roenigks] have done is exciting.”

Hall, a Fort Smith native, owns Hall N Bread, a bread distribution business in Springdale. It’s part of the publicly traded Flowers Foods Inc., a prominent producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the U.S. with 2023 sales of $5.09 billion. Flowers Foods has 16 routes based in Springdale. Hall N Bread has six of those.

Hall also has restaurant experience, previously owning Re-Pete’s Place in Fort Smith for nearly 10 years.