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Arkansas Historical Sites

By Lauren Eisenstodt Premium

Arkansas Post National Memorial
1741 Old Post Road,
Gillett , AR 72055,
(870) 548-2207,

<www.nps.gov/arpo>: A memorial and museum commemorate Arkansas’ first permanent white settlement, Arkansas Post, which became a thriving river port and the first capital of Arkansas Territory.

 

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Fort Smith National Historic Site
301 Parker Ave.
Fort Smith, AR 72901,
(479) 783-3961,

<www.nps.gov/fosm>: Here stand the remains of two frontier forts plus the federal district court where Isaac C. Parker, the “Hanging Judge,” earned his nickname. See exhibits on Fort Smith’s history, western expansion, and Indian policy and removal, too.
 
 
Historic Arkansas Museum
200 E. Third St.,
Little Rock, AR 72201,
(501) 324-9351,

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<www.arkansashistory.com>: At this state museum, you’ll see a pre-Civil War neighborhood and Arkansas-made art and artifacts. Plus, learn the history of the Bowie Knife, and take part in re-enactments and heritage events.

 

Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs, Ark.,

(501) 624-2701,

<www.nps.gov/hosp>: Located in and around downtown Hot Springs, this park was the state’s first area protected by the National Park Service. Be sure to visit Bathhouse Row and the park’s visitor center inside the former Fordyce Bathhouse — considered the most luxurious of the group.

 

Old State House Museum
300 W. Markham St.,

Little Rock, AR 72201,
(501) 324-9685,

<www.oldstatehouse.com>: Housed in the oldest surviving state capitol west of the Mississippi River, this museum focuses on women’s and political history. Collections include Civil War battle flags and African-American quilts.

 

Old Washington Historic State Park
100 SW Morrison St.
Washington, AR 71862,
(870) 983-2684,

<www.oldwashingtonstatepark.com>: This restored 19th-century town, often called the Colonial Williamsburg of the Southwest, provides a way to experience pioneer life. Tour the historic public buildings and private residences, and view antique guns and knives.

 

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
(505) 988-6888,
<www.nps.gov/trte>: In 1838, the US government forced more than 16,000 Cherokee to move to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. Their path, known as the Trail of Tears, passed through Arkansas. You can walk parts of the trail at several state parks (888-287-2757, <historystateparks.com/trail-of-tears>).
 

Visitor information

? Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
1 Capitol Mall,
Little Rock, AR 72201,
(800) 628 8725,

 
 
From the February 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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