Check Out Eight Significant Sites in Arkansas
Eight Significant Sites in Arkansas
From palisaded villages of the 1400s to the start of the National Park Service to famous literary types writing about World War I in a barn (guess who), Arkansas boasts a number of significant sites from American history.
History buffs, enjoy excursions to Mississippi River Delta swamplands, the Trail of Tears, and floors once pitter-pattered upon by baby President Clinton. It’s all here in the Natural State – and in no particular order.
1. Louisiana Purchase Point
A U.S. National Historic Landmark, and found on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park consists of a granite marker stuck smack-dab in the middle of a swamp.
Why is this cool? Because this marker is reached by a 950-foot wooden boardwalk, and represents the “Beginning Point of the Louisiana Purchase Survey.” Established way back in 1815, this now state park is set in Arkansas’ Mississippi River Delta – less than 40 miles west of West Helena.
2. Fort Smith
Found along the Arkansas River, this now state park and National Historic Landmark was first established on Christmas Day of 1817. These forts were a significant stop along the Trail of Tears, and former stomping ground of "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker.
3. Clinton Birthplace
Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site – that was a “mouthful” – showcases the former home of the United States’ 42nd President until he was like 4 years old.
4. Central High
Remember that University of Alabama integration scene in Forrest Gump? Well that was a tribute to the famed Little Rock Nine. Right in Little Rock, the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957 took place at what is now the Central High National Historic Site.
Drawing over 40,000 annual visitors, Little Rock Central High School features a Commemorative Garden and permanent exhibit in the visitor center. The high school is still in operation, yet visitors may take a ranger-led tour of the grounds by appointment only – so shhhh.
5. Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Ever have to read A Farewell to Arms? Well Hemingway wrote most of it right here in Arkansas. Located in Piggott along Crowley's Ridge Parkway, the museum is also referred to as the Pfeiffer House and Carriage House, or just the Hemingway-Pfeiffer House.
Built in 1927, and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum is operated by Arkansas State University. Set in northeast Arkansas, about two hours from West Memphis, the site offers tours of the house and barn-studio to Hemingwayheads of all ages.
Found along the Black River in northern Arkansas, the Powhatan Historic State Park features nine acres of preserved structures from the late 1800s. Set north of Hardy, this Arkansas state park is an impressive living museum.
Tours of this once-bustling Black River port town are readily available. Check out the iconic 1888 Powhatan Courthouse, and be sure to visit the Ficklin-Imboden House, Powhatan Jail, Powhatan Schoolhouse, and Telephone Exchange Building.
7. Hampson Archeological Museum
Also located in northeastern Arkansas, the Hampson Archeological Museum State Park is a National Historic Landmark, and inserted on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park preserves archeological goodies from the Nodena Site – a Native American village set along the Mississippi River from 1400 to 1650. Guided tours of the five-acre site are given daily, and don’t miss a peep at that Mississippian Period effigy head vessel.
8. Hot Springs
Before you ask, yes you can take a bath here. The famed Hot Springs National Park was originally founded in 1832, making is the National Park Service’s oldest Federal Reserve. Though the smallest national park, Hot Springs draw more than a million annual visitors.
Set in northern Hot Springs in central Arkansas, the American Spa features hiking, wildlife viewing, scenic drives, and of course, baths. Then check out the Bathhouse Row National Historic Landmark District, the Fordyce Bathhouse visitor center, and the Hot Springs Mountain Tower.