Mena was named after the wife of a Dutch coffee broker, Jan DeGoeigen, who furnished financial assistance needed by builder Arthur Stilwell to construct the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (later known as Kansas City Southern).
Extending from Kansas City to Port Arthur, Texas, Mena was known as the "division town", or the halfway point between the two cities.
The Depot serves as the focal point of Mena and greets any visitor who passes through on U.S. Highway 71 or State Highway 88.
The beautifully restored depot houses the Polk County Chamber of Commerce and a historical museum guarded by a 1939 Dodge police car. For additional information on a brief history of Mena Arkansas visit the "100 years of Mena Arkansas" web site.
This is one of the most colorful and scenic areas of the United States, with mountain peaks reaching up to 2,861 feet. Mena's average high temperature reaches 90 degrees F in July and August, dipping to 27 degrees in January.
6 public schools and 2 private schools provide education to local students. Those seeking higher education can attend Rich Mountain Community College, located right in town. Or they can check out Westark College, Henderson State University, Arkansas Tech University or the University of Arkansas' main campus, all of which are located within a 90-minute drive.
Mena Medical Center, which was completely renovated, updated and expanded in 2005, serves the area's health care needs. Medical facilities provided by Wilhelmina Medical Center with a 51-bed capacity, emergency room and outpatient services.
The Ouachita National Forest consists of 1.8 million acres and is the South's oldest and largest National Forest. Visitors can enjoy 32 recreational areas by picnicking, camping, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, hunting and boating.
Queen Wilhelmina State Park, situated along Talimena Scenic Drive atop Rich Mountain, stands out as a vacation land for visitors and locals alike. The Wilhelmina Inn attracts thousands of visitors to Polk County each year. It features 36 guest rooms plus 2 "Queen's Rooms" with woodburning fireplaces.
Mena provides other activities as well, including two public 9-hole golf courses, community theatre, bowling alley and many stores and antique shops. Also available are many bed and breakfast vacation rental choices.