Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, Smackover

#49 of 102 in Museums in Arkansas
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources is a museum and Arkansas state park in Smackover, Arkansas in the United States. The museum was formed in the 1980s to tell the history of the petroleum industry and later the brine industry as key economic movements spurred by natural resources in South Arkansas.
Prior to the 1921 discovery of oil in nearby El Dorado, Smackover was part of the declining timber and cotton industries. With the discovery of oil in El Dorado on January 10, 1921 the area boomed with geologists looking for more.
The search for oil was then directed north towards the small town of Smackover, near the Ouachita River fault line. On July 29, 1922 the Richardson well erupted with new-found oil. Within a year of this discovery, the sleepy town of 100 boomed to over 25,000.
Though not a leader in oil production, the ten county area is still producing oil today.
The museum is located along Arkansas Highway 7 and contains a 25000sqft main exhibition center, operating replicas of oil machinery, a re-created boom-era street scene in Smackover, and a 10,800sqft collection/archive center.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
41 reviews
  • Just one of our favorite family museums yet. Loved the old cars..little town setup inside, just so much to list.  more »
  • I recently visited the museum and I'm highly impressed. Someone has done a lot of work because the attention to detail and the amount of history presented is nothing short of spectacular. I look...  more »
  • I loved it. I've always been interested in history. A lot of the info, is not in history books, so you only know if you're from that area.
  • It's a very wonderful museum that has a lot of Hands-On for children. Very well put together.

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