For 97 years, the Museum has been the "keeper and teller" of Fort Smith's rich and colorful history.The Fort Smith Museum of History acquires, preserves, exhibits and interprets objects of historical significance relevant to the founding and growth of Fort Smith and the region.
The Museum does this through:
- Exhibits illustrating the contributions of Fort Smith's citizens to the cultural, political and economic development of the area.
- Educational services which are appropriate to the context of the Museum and the larger community and are integral to the Museum's mission.
Founded by area women in 1910, the Museum originally occupied the 1840's Commissary Building of the second Fort Smith. Following the acquisition of the property by the National Park Service, the Museum moved to the Atkinson-Williams Building, a four-story National Register structure located a half block away from the National Historic Site and Judge Parker's Courtroom. Formerly known as the Old Commissary Museum and then the Old Fort Museum, the Fort Smith Museum of History has been the keeper and teller of Fort Smith's History for 97 years!
From the founding of the first Fort in 1817, through westward expansion, the Civil War and the Gay Nineties, the remarkable stories of this roaring frontier city are told in fascinating exhibits and programs. Fort Smith was the point of departure for pioneers, peacekeepers and outlaws by horse, steamboat and rail.