Located in Searcy’s historic downtown, Robbins Sanford is a unique event center. The classic venue offers an ideal setting for social occasions.
In addition to weddings and receptions, Robbins Sanford’s versatile space is also fitting for dinners, luncheons, galas, proms, holiday parties and corporate events. The Grand Hall features a fully-equipped catering kitchen, bar area and seating capacity for 250 guests.
Rich in history, Robbins Sanford is a classic venue for your special event.
Robbins Sanford can accommodate weddings, receptions, dinners, luncheons, showers, balls, galas, prom and more. Make your reservation today.
118 North Spring St.
Searcy, AR 72143
Call or e-mail Pia Clairday
for more information
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The spacious Robbins Sanford Grand Hall can host as many as 250 people for weddings, receptions, social occasions and corporate events. Offer your guests the opportunity to experience historical elegance in the vintage downtown area.
18 (60 inch) Round Tables
155 Gold Banquet Chairs
Portable Sound System
Use of Catering Kitchen
This historical account of Robbins Sanford is compiled from
the memories, stories, old newspaper articles and books local residents have written about Searcy and White County.
Although the exact year is not known, enterprising businessman Stephen Perry started the mercantile store in the late 1800s. Upon his retirement in 1887, he sold the business to his grandsons-in-law. The two men, E.A. “Bony” Robbins and John Sanford, became successful partners in their joint venture.
As brilliant businessmen, Robbins and Sanford purchased 44 additional stores or stocks of goods including hardware, implements, harnesses, groceries, seed, plants, dry goods and furniture between 1890 and 1910.
The Robbins-Sanford Mercantile Company was the premier store and warehouse in the South between Little Rock and St. Louis. Residents throughout the state and region made monthly pilgrimages to Searcy to buy a variety of goods.
An unknown disaster claimed the store’s original location, which is where Sowell’s Furniture currently resides at 207 W. Arch Ave. in Searcy. After that, Robbins and Sanford decided to rebuild their famed store on a more central thoroughfare. Construction of the new building was completed in 1908 where it still stands today at 118 N. Spring St.
At the turn of the 20th Century, horse-drawn wagons were the mode of transportation along dirt roads that led to and from the store. Wagons lined the lot on the east side of the building while shoppers took their time to study the store’s new inventory.
Inspired by this mode of transportation, Robbins-Sanford had the statue of a horse created as an advertisement for the store. The picture on the right also features the company’s tagline “In business since horse & buggy days.” According to the stories of long-time Searcy residents, the horse was famous in his heyday as children were always excited to see him parade through the streets of town. Many even had their picture taken with or on the horse.
Though the gentlemen pictured above are unidentified, the sign on the counter of the Robbins-Sanford Mercantile Co. reads Proctor & Gamble, which was already a household name in the early 1900s.
As times changed, the Robbins-Sanford Mercantile Co. went out of business and was converted into the popular retail-clothing store Van Atkins. New owners Alvin and Louise Van Hook held the store’s grand opening in 1954. Van Atkins was a significant part of downtown Searcy for 44 years until it closed in 1998.
Over the years, local businesses moved toward the east side of town, which left many storefronts in the downtown Searcy area vacant. Reba’s Formalwear briefly occupied the building after Van Atkins closed.
In 2009, the building underwent a transformation that uncovered the intricate ceiling tiles, exposed brick and wooden beams at the direction of its new owners Stuart and Wendy Dalrymple, of Dalrymple Commercial.
Robbins Sanford was artfully restored to reflect its original charm and beauty with modern conveniences added. The spacious Grand Hall and Carriage House now offers a classic venue for numerous special occasions.