3131 Cloverleaf St.
Van Buren, AR 72956
Phone: (479) 474-2223
Fax: (479) 474-9049
Kay Rodgers Park is aptly located in Fort Smith. The park is home to the popular Old Fort Days Rodeo which works to create awareness regarding various agricultural developments to the locals of the region. The park also hosts concerts throughout the year.
Harry E. Kelley Park is underneath the Arkansas River Bridge in Fort Smith, AK. The park includes a performance area, picnic tables and a hiking trail. Check the website for reservation policies.
Miss Laura's Visitor Center, in Downtown Fort Smith, houses Fort Smith's official visitor and convention bureau. Located on B Street and overlooking the Arkansas River, Miss Laura's is in itself an interesting tourist attraction. The lovely Victorian building originally served as a bordello, where some of the most popular and sought-after ladies resided. Established by a Ms. Laura Zieglar, the building is the only one surviving among the seven that once stood. The first of its kind to be on the National Register of Historic Places, it still proudly bears the official marker. Open all week, Miss Laura's Visitor Center also offers interactive tours, whereby you'll get a glimpse of the place's colorful and interesting history.
Alternatively known as the Fort Smith U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, the Judge Isaac C. Parker Federal Building was constructed in 1937 and was named after the dynamic judge, Isaac C. Parker. The structure is a fine example of the Classical Revival style of architecture. Included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the building is still functional and houses court offices.
The Fort Smith National Cemetery, located in Fort Smith, spreads over 22.3 acres (nine hectares) of land and has over 13,000 interments. This once small cemetery has been expanded several times over the centuries. Fort Smith National Cemetery was placed on National Register of Historic Places on May 29, 1999. This serene place makes the atmosphere calm and quiet to spend some peaceful moments.
The Fort Smith National Historic Site is located close to the Arkansas River. In 1961, the need to preserve two historic sites (historical forts) was felt and hence this site was built. It almost takes 2 hours to explore this vast site that features a visitor center, military exhibits, park grounds, Trail of Tears, courtroom and jails. Tourists can also avail the picnic shelters nestled under the canopy of trees. For more details, check website.
The Spiro Mounds have a complex and eventful history ranging from Native American settlement to ill fated treasure hunt. The mounds are situated in the westernmost outpost of Caddoan Mississippi culture, occupied for almost 600 years by the Spiro tribe. Hernando de Soto visited the location during his excursion through the Florida territory, leading to yet another footnote in the sites past. After a long period of abandonment, the site was purchased by gold hunters in 1930, securing digging acces to the six mysterious mounds occupying the site. While they hoped to find a cache of gold rumored to have been buried by de Soto, the treasure hunters unearthed what has been called "America's Tutankhamen Tomb". Due to the cold, dry conditions and insulation provided by the earthen mounds, the chambers contained a wealth of Native American artifacts that comprised one of the most significant anthropological discoveries in the country.
Covering a total of 66,000 acres, Fort Chaffee has served many different purposes since its groundbreaking in 1941 as Camp Chaffee. During World War II, the base functioned as a training base as well as a POW camp. In 1956, Camp Chaffee became Fort Chaffee, and in 1958 it is the place that Elvis Presley received his famous army haircut. It has subsequently served as a processing center for refugees from various parts of the world, with control being transferred to the Arkansas Army National Guard, who use it for training purposes. Several Hollywood movies have used Fort Chaffee as a shooting location including The Tuskegee Airmen and Biloxi Blues.
Sequoyah's Cabin is a simple structure just outside Salisaw, Oklahoma built and lived in by one of the most important figures in America's history. Born to a Cherokee tribe, Sequoyah became a silversmith which brought him into contact with white settlers through trade. After being impressed by the "talking leaves" (correspondence and letters carried by traders), he decided to devise a syllabary system that would enable Cherokee to learn to read and write in their own language. After teaching and disseminating his syllabary, the Cherokee attained one of the highest literacy rates in the country, marking the first time a pre-literate community has devised its own written language. Sequoyah lived in the cabin for the remainder of his life, dying in Mexico while fulfilling a lifelong goal of uniting the Cherokee diaspora.