Things to Do in Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith is very proud of its history as a military town, and many of the attractions are based on this history.
Fort Smith Museum of History
This is a very nice, well-kept museum, over 100 years old. The exhibits are very detailed and educational, with many wonderful artifacts and historical photo collections. A must-see if you’re ever in the area.
The historical trolleys take you to Ross Pendergraft Park and then reverses back to the Fort Smith National Cemetery. Something unique aboute these trolleys – when the trolley engineer needs to reverse and go the other direction, they remove their steering lever and reattach it to the opposite end of the trolley. The trolley seats also reverse so you can face the direction the trolley travels. A small warning, it jolts pretty good when it begins to move.
Miss Laura’s Social Club – Fort Smith Visitor Center
Miss Laura’s Visitor Center is a restored turn-of-the-century brothel that is now the city’s official visitor center; interpretive tours discussing the building’s colorful past and the history of the former Fort Smith “Row” of seven bordellos from the time prostitution was legal in the district. Miss Laura’s Visitors Center was the first former bordello to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The folks here are so friendly and knowledgable about all of the area’s history. There are lots of artifacts and beautiful historical photos to admire. The staff work on donations.
Ross Pendergraft Park
This is a beautiful park dedicated to U.S. Deputy Marshall Bass Reeves. Read the deication on a lovely, historical plaque and admire his awesome statue.
Fort Smith Gallows
During the twenty-four years the federal executions took place in Fort Smith, eighty-seven men died on the gallows. While Judge Isaac C. Parker sat on the bench, 160 people, including four women, were sentenced to hang.
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