His­tory

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS -

In 1895, Ital­ian im­mi­grants left Genoa to es­cape high taxes, over­crowd­ing, food scarcity, po­lit­i­cal un­rest and war. Father Pi­etro Ban­dini joined the im­mi­grants in Amer­ica. They found a farm near Spring­dale with about 40 fam­i­lies and named it Tontitown for Henri de Tonti, who es­tab­lished the first colony in Arkansas.

A har­vest in 1898 re­sulted in a cel­e­bra­tion and the tasti­est meals the set­tlers’ mea­ger pro­vi­sions would al­low. That first frolic in the woods stemmed the Grape Fes­ti­val of to­day.

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