BENTONVILLE, Ark.- Two doors from the first store owned by Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have been donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington and The Walmart Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The doors from Walton’s first shop, opened in 1945 in Newport, Arkansas, were stored for years by Ivy Brother Construction co-owner Gene Ivy, who renovated the store in the 1960s, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The doors were a great find because nothing else was kept from the first store owned by the man who started the world’s largest retailer, said Alan Dranow, senior director of the Wal-Mart Heritage Group.
One door, its frame scattered with scratches and nicks from use, is currently on display in an illuminated case at the Arkansas museum.
“It means that the very beginning of Sam’s journey is represented here,” Dranow said.
Ivy stored the doors in his business’ warehouse until his retirement, and later moved them to his garage. After he died in 2014, his family decided to donate the doors to the museums.
“This just seemed like where they needed to be since this is where (Walton) started,” Ivy’s daughter Terri Ramsey said.