Fort Smith National Historic Site, Fort Smith

#1 of 16 in Things to do in Fort Smith
Must see · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
Fort Smith National Historic Site is a National Historic Site located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, along the Arkansas River. The first fort at this site was established by the United States in 1817, before this area was established as part of Indian Territory. It was later replaced and the second fort was operated by the US until 1871. This site was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

The fort was the first site of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, which had jurisdiction over western Arkansas and all of Indian Territory. It began operations in 1875 with the appointment of Isaac C. Parker as the first federal district judge here. The town of Fort Smith, Arkansas developed around the fort.

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Fort Smith National Historic Site reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
604 reviews
  • We were disappointed that the original courthouse, barracks and visitors center were closed..I am sure that would have made for a better experience. The one interesting site to see was the gallows.....  more »
  • It was a blistering hot/humid day, but the rangers were so very friendly & helpful & the signage was excellent. Great historic museum & well worth a visit. Would have stayed longer if it wasn't so.....  more »
  • I have it five because it went beyond the basic history park. For anyone who likes westerns or western books, this is a must. Judge Parker and the lone ranger (note that unlike the show, the real deputy was not a ranger, was more spectacular than show and was an African American). I was pleased to see that this was mentioned a few places. The red oaks are worth a picture and the little audio track at the gallows was interesting. Be sure to walk down to the river. Also be sure to visit miss Laura's place as well. It is right next door.
  • Had a great time, tour guide Ashley was awesome!!! Would highly recommend spending a couple hours here touring inside the visitor's center and grounds that have many educational opportunities.
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