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Fort Smith National Historic Site

To understand the cultural of the early Arkansas western frontier, take time to visit this site

Check out the slide shows, pictures, videos, and information below.

Hell on the Border Jail

Hell on the Border Jail

Commissary for Fort Smith

Commissary for Fort Smith

Fort Smith was shaped by diverse characters including soldiers, Indians, outlaws, and lawmen. Because of the Indian unrest on the early frontier borders, in 1817 Fort Smith was established to settle the peace among the Indians. Its history spans the next 80 years. You can see foundations of the first fort along the Arkansas River. Most of the buildings that remain are on the grounds for the second fort, established in 1838, soon became a supply depot used by both the South before the Civil War and later by the northern Union soldiers during the Civil War.  This fort was also in the path of the Trail of Tears. In the late 1800's the main building became a courthouse and jail run by such famous men as Judge Isaac C. Parker, known as the hanging judge, who helped tame the rough frontier atmosphere.  The courthouse and jail can be toured as well as the grounds where the fort once stood.


For more detail and information:


Check out the government site by clicking here

Check out the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

The video was done by Rhettyforfun. It last for 4 1/2 minutes and gives you a view of Judge Parkers grave and the cemetery as a whole.

The main part of  the building below was built in the mid-1800's and became the old Fort Smith Courthouse in 1872. The addition on the left side was added in 1888. For details about the horrors of the old jail in the basement of the courthouse, CLICK HERE.

The 25 pictures in the slide show below give you a brief view of what you see at the park site.

Check out these 2 videos about Fort Smith National Site then see the information about the Fort Smith National Cemetery below that.

This is a 3:45 minute video done by Tom Lounsbury that gives you s brief view of the Fort Smith National Historic Site. If you want some extra views of this park, take a few minutes to look at this You Tube presentation.

For the history buffs, this is the National Park Service's fifteen minute orientation video that narrates the history of the Fort Smith's growth. If you have the time, this is well worth watching.

Next to the old Fort Smith outpost location is the Fort Smith National Cemetery. Below are pictures and a video of the cemetery. It is well worth taking in while you are visiting the Fort Smith National Historic Site.

To fiind out more about the national cemetery at Fort Smith, check out the Veterans Affairs website..

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