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
609 reviews
  • If your into western history ( Arkansas was the “west” once) this is a great site. Old jail, gallows and court house are all very interesting. Lots of great exhibits. And as an added plus adjacent...  more »
  • this was a great place to see , i learned alot but we got there right before they closed so we did not get to spend alot of time there  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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