|City/Town: • Conway|
|Location Class: • Residential|
|Built: • N/A | Abandoned: • N/A|
|Status: • Abandoned • Gutted|
|Photojournalist: • Ginger Beck|
The only remnants of the former sprawling home and grand swimming area overlooking Toad Suck lock and dam is a concrete slab, steel beams, a couple of fireplaces, and an empty swimming pool. The trolley tracks that lead down the steep incline to the ground from the top of the bluffs remains, but the cart is laying on its side, off track.
Known as “Rolling Thunder” – this family home owned by prominent Conway locals has been abandoned for some time and mostly demolished. What once must have been a magnificent estate, complete with pond, sprawling gated drive, and outdoor fireplace and large waterfall, is now littered with cables and broken plastic and dismantled electronics.
Founded in 1933 by D.H. “Dave” Ward, the Ward Body Works company, specializing in yellow school buses, was family-owned for nearly its entirety. Ward was the first to perform a rollover test on a school bus, which led to changes body designs. He was also the first manufacturer to utilize an assembly line to build buses.
Dave Ward died in 1985; in 1993, the family sold the bus plant to American Transportation, later bought by International Corporation. The bus plant closed in 2009 when International consolidated its operations.
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I am the great niece of Dave Ward. His brother Neal, who helped build the house was my great grandfather.
I will be going to the property tomorrow morning to scavenge for any family or home items that can be located in the remains. Hoping I can find something.
My family hosted huge parties at this house in the 1970s. It was like a James Bond fortress. I am so so so sad that it could not be maintained. There were many structural and water issues due to the location of the home.
Do you know if Barbara still owns the place or who has it since Charles passed? My family has been very close to the family for generations. I worked for Steve as a young adult and my grandfather was best friends with Charles and Steve. My great grandfather worked for Dave for many years. I hope you’re able to salvage anything family related if it’s there.
I’d like to go see this just to take picturee
Hi, I was one of the last kids to live in this house after the owner passed away and gave the house to my dad. I lived the first 10 years of my life in this house. I hope you find something and hope it has an attachment to my childhood.
Does anyone know the owners of the property?
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Hi Brooke, we can not supply the address.
idk the address but i i know how to locate it
Would love to know how to get here
Did you ever find out the exact location??
its not too hard to find, right around toadsuck park. Use google earth.