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Fort Smith National Historic Site

301 Parker Avenue

Fort Smith National Historic Site embraces the remains of two frontier forts and the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Through a recent multi-million dollar rehabilitation project the historic courthouse and jail building have been restored and now include a visitor’s center. You can visit the “Hell on the Border” jail, “Hangin’ Judge” Isaac C. Parker’s courtroom and see the gallows where justice came at the end of a rope. Numerous exhibits and videos also focus on U.S. Deputy Marshals and outlaws, Federal Indian policy, and the Trail of Tears. The center also contains a bookstore and auditorium.The history of the Fort Smith area abounds with tales of heroism, battles, and social justice. Walk where soldiers drilled, reflect along the Trail of Tears overlook, and stand where justice was served and carried out. There are many individuals who made history at Fort Smith, and their actions and attitudes can serve both as inspiration and lessons learned.


Steven Yackel

Sunday, May 13, 2018
I was very impressed in what I found at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. I did not know what to expect for a historic site so close to the local downtown. They have done a great job of telling the story of the fort that stood here and was an important part to the development of the Western Frontier. The cutaway exhibit of the jail is amazing, it is so well done it will blow your mind. I was also impressed with the historical depiction of the courtroom, you feel like they could be holding court later in the day. The exhibits were also very well done, with lots of information about the fort over time and the outlaws and lawmen that ended up here. In addition, the gift shop had some great books and a nice selection of souvenirs. Be sure that you do not miss walking out to the other building, the depiction of the quartermaster is very well done.

Fred Becker

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Wonderful exhibit. Had more info on the Rangers than I expected, and it was really well done. Great history in an interesting format. Don't miss the short film right at the start. If you read every placard, there is a little bit of repetition... But that's okay. Highly recommend

Mattie Moore

Saturday, July 21, 2018
This is a wonderful National Park that preserves a very important era of Arkansas — when it was a frontier state. The main building has a great museum upstairs and visitors can walk through actual prisoner quarters downstairs. You can even experience what it was like to sit in the Hanging Judge's courtroom.

Jerry Brady

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Finally made it to this national park! One the historic sites where the West was opened up. At huge cost to Native Americans. A page of history in America for the good of the country, bad for indigenous people. Beautiful facility and great information. Good use of our tax dollars. Anyone who enjoys this history in our country from this period needs to go.

Max Adventures

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Under refurbishment when I visited. Cool thing is they actually have confederate graves here. And as of now have not torn them down like the statues in most of the country. The area is in downtown with lots of drug attics asking for money, beer and cigarettes, so park inside the grounds and lock your car. Fort Smith is a tweakers paradise

Fort Smith National Historic Site is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media