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"Painted House" barn raising completed in Lepanto

"Painted House" barn raising completed in Lepanto

A group in Lepanto is recreating a setting from the film version of John Grisham’s novel, “A Painted House,” inspired by the popular author’s early years in Arkansas.

The film, produced by Hallmark Hall of Fame in 2002, was shot on location in and around Lepanto. Grisham was born in Jonesboro.

The producers donated the Chandler house to the city of Lepanto in 2003, and members of the Lepanto Area Citizens for Progress Committee moved the house to the town from Kansas City, Mo.

The committee then spent two years raising money to add a barn to the site where the refurbished home from the movie sits. Using the original blueprints from the movie set, builders put up the barn in two weeks.

The first floor will include a gift shop, movie memorabilia display, kitchen and bath. The top floor will be used for storage. Plans are to have the project completed and paid for by Lepanto Terrapin Days on Oct. 6.

The group organized bake sales, raffles and other events to raise $23,000, a sum made larger by sales from the gift shop at the house. Lepanto native Boyd Wayne Tucker, 74, of Vilonia agreed to build the barn, with the help of his son Michael Tucker of Osceola.

The two men built the center portion by themselves, setting posts, laying concrete flooring and framing out the structure. They got help from about a dozen volunteers, including some students from East Poinsett High School.

“With the help of the volunteers, the points went up in 10 minutes,” the elder Tucker said. “Then it began to really look like the Chandler barn. It is amazing what willing hands can do to speed the job up.

“If we have enough money left, we plan to add the lean-to on the left side, like it was in the movie,” he said. “When we run out of money, we will quit, and start again after some more fundraisers or donations.”

The committee didn’t want to go into debt on the project and has worked from a shoestring budget.

Source: The Morning News

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