Rex’s Corner, Arlington


Intersection of Smokey Point Boulevard (Old Highway 99) and Edgecomb Road (172nd Street NE), Arlington

In the 1930s, Rex’s Corner (also known as Smokey Point) had only one restaurant, a small tavern, and a gas station. Mr. Rex loved sports, especially baseball, so he allowed locals to convert the 10-acre field behind his restaurant into a baseball field. Many local “sand lot” teams—which called themselves semi-professional— played regularly scheduled games there. Each player was responsible for providing his own equipment and transportation, although they did occasionally pool their money for balls and bats. (112) When Mr. Rex sold the property, in 1946, the new owners, Eric and Pearl Shurstad, renamed the restaurant the Smokey Point Café. The café was renowned for its outdoor barbeque dinners and the smoke the open barbeque generated—thus the area became known as Smokey Point. (113) Smokey Point Café was named after one of the Shurstads’ favorite restaurants in their hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Eric and Pearl closed the eatery in 1958, the same day that Interstate 5 opened. The property remained vacant until it was demolished. (114) In 2012, the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce began holding an annual barbecue cook-off as a fundraiser inspired by the corner’s history. (115)

(112) Barnier, Chuck, “How Smokey Point got its Name.” The Arlington Times, June 2, 2004
(113) The Arlington Times, “Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber Presents Barbeque Cook-Off.” July 25, 2012
(114) “Smokey Point History and Shopping,” Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce OnCell Tour. http://myoncell.mobi/tours.php?acct_num=13606673323
(115) The Arlington Times, “Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber Presents Barbeque Cook-Off.” July 25, 2012

Rex’s Corner (unknown date and source)

Rex’s Corner (unknown date and source)