Explore The Historic Fort Smith National Historic Site

Are you fascinated by history? Do you love to learn about the past and how it shaped modern society? If so, then Fort Smith National Historic Site is the perfect destination for you! Located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, this historic site has been preserved to give visitors a glimpse into the past. This article will explore the site, its history, and what you can expect to see when you visit.

History of Fort Smith National Historic Site

Fort Smith National Historic Site has a rich and varied history. The site was first established in 1817 as a military post by the United States government to maintain peace between native tribes and settlers. It was named in honor of General Thomas Adams Smith, who had recently died in battle. Fort Smith quickly became an important hub of activity, serving as a supply point for frontier forts and as a starting point for soldiers on expeditions into the West.

Over time, Fort Smith played a key role in many major events in American history. It served as a headquarters for the Union army during the Civil War, and later as a base for troops fighting against Native American tribes during the Indian Wars. It also played an important part in the enforcement of federal law in the western territories, serving as the site of one of the most famous federal courtrooms in the country.

Fort Smith National Historic Site was established in 1961 to preserve this important piece of American history. Today, visitors can explore the site and learn about the people and events that shaped it.

What to See at Fort Smith National Historic Site

Fort Smith National Historic Site features a number of historic buildings and exhibits that give visitors a sense of what life was like in the region in years past. Here are some of the highlights:

The Fort

The centerpiece of the site is, of course, the fort itself. Visitors can walk around the old stone walls and imagine what it must have been like for soldiers stationed here in the 1800s. There are a number of cannons on display, as well as historic markers that explain the significance of the various parts of the fort.

The Courthouse

The most famous building at Fort Smith is undoubtedly the courthouse. This is where the famous judge Isaac C. Parker presided over the court in the late 1800s. The courtroom has been restored to its original appearance, complete with a replica of the judge’s bench and a number of exhibits that explain how justice was dispensed in the Old West.

Other Historic Buildings

In addition to the fort and courthouse, there are a number of other historic buildings on the site that are worth exploring. These include a reconstructed barracks house, a restored officers’ quarters, and a visitor center that houses many exhibits about the history of Fort Smith.

Visiting Fort Smith National Historic Site

Fort Smith National Historic Site is open every day of the week except for Christmas Day. Admission is free, although there is a small fee for the courtroom exhibit. Guided tours are available for a fee and should be reserved in advance.

When you visit Fort Smith, be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking. The site covers more than 80 acres, so there is plenty to explore. You should also bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water, as much of the site is exposed to the sun.

In conclusion, Fort Smith National Historic Site is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in American history. Whether you’re a student of history or just looking for an interesting way to spend a day, a visit to Fort Smith is sure to be a memorable experience. So plan your trip today and discover the rich history of this important site!

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