Historic Washington State Park
A delightful trip for history buffs through an earlier time in Arkansas
Check out the slide shows, pictures, videos, and information below.
Original Hempstead Courthouse
After Arlene stands at the Entrance Sign of Historic Washington, she then walks up to the courthouse, which is the center of this state park and which serves as a museum for telling the history of this town.
This historic town of Washington in southwest Arkansas gives insight into the life in the nineteenth century of this community. The Visitor Center served as the Hempstead County Courthouse from 1874 to 1939. Washington was an important bustling Arkansas town and even served as the Arkansas Confederate Capital after Little Rock fell to the Union forces in 1863.
Washington was established in 1824 and grew as people traveled the southwest trail to Texas. It was an economic force until the railroad bypassed it in 1874. A fire in 1825 and another one in 1873 destroyed much of the business district, and it lost its glory.
Today you can walk the town and view the many structures that still exist. A horse drawn carriage can be rented for a town tour as well. If you want to view the buildings inside, you can buy tour tickets at the Visitor Center. The paid tour changes the buildings that can be viewed periodically so check those on the tour for the day you will be in the area.
There are no camping sites at this park, but you can stay at Millwood State Park while visiting this town. If you need a motel, check out accommodations in Hope, Arkansas.
For more information, check out the links at the following Websites:
Below are 18 pictures to give you a feeling of the town's historic past.
This shows the campout site where the people staged their re-enactment of the early travelers.
This is on the second floor of the Visitor Center Courthouse.
This is a view as you enter the courtroom. It is very impressive.