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Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock

#6 of 13 in Museums in Little Rock
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Historic Arkansas Museum, sometimes called HAM, is a state history museum in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

The museum was created as part of the Arkansas Territorial Capitol Restoration Commission, by Act 388 of the 1939 Arkansas General Assembly. The act named Louise Loughborough as chairwoman of the commission. Loughborough had been named to the Little Rock Planning Commission in 1935. Several houses near Cumberland and East 3rd Streets in downtown Little Rock were going to be condemned, including the Hinderliter House, the oldest building in Little Rock. Loughborough started a public relations campaign around Little Rock as a "town of three Capitols": the Hinderliter House, the Old State House, and the current Arkansas State Capitol Building. Use of the Hinderliter House as the last meeting place of the Arkansas Territorial Legislature has remained part of popular folklore, though it is not known if it was used for this purpose. Loughborough then gained support from the Works Progress Administration, the Arkansas General Assembly, and private donors.

Loughborough worked with architect Max Mayer to restore the half-block of houses at Cumberland and East 3rd Street in downtown Little Rock. The Museum opened on July 19, 1941.
The museum maintains gallery space and a number of historic buildings original to the site, as well as log structures transported from around the state. It was previously known as the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, but the name was changed in 2001 when new exhibit space and renovations were completed. The museum is an affiliate within the Smithsonian Affiliations program. The museum property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2019 as the Arkansas Territorial Restoration Historic District.

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182 reviews
  • So they have two sections in this museum. The inside and the outside. Right know a lot of the inside is either closed or going through a renovation. The lady explained since they had that going on...  more »
  • great exhibits, very interesting.. Gift shop offers a lot of unique gifts . The old cabins on the grounds are neat  more »
  • Absolutely loved this museum! It's free to tour the gallery and they have guided tours for a small fee. The gift shop has lots of interesting little items. I picked up a very tiny mason jar of honey and a bat magnet. The artwork and artifacts here are pretty tame so its a good place for kids. I highly recommend checking it out.
  • We just visited this lovely museum, and what a pleasure it was!The guided tour of the buildings, for a VERY nominal fee ($1.50 for seniors) was truly exceptional. Casey was our docent, and he was amazing! He is passionate about what he does, he knows such a lot of the regional history, and he really brings a lot of knowledge to the subject. Thanks very much Casey.Another real highlight was the living history guide who was portraying Tabby, a person of history from the appropriate time era. The woman was truly really believed her. She is a gifted re-enactor, making history come alive. Don't miss this gem of a museum!
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