Walk the Path of Soldiers at Fort Smith
The Fort Smith National Historic Site lets you stand on the ground where justice was served, stroll along the same path where soldiers drilled, and pause for a moment along the Trail of Tears. Included in the park are the remains of two frontier forts as well as the Federal court for the Western District of Arkansas.
Located at the south end of the Barracks/Courthouse/Jail building is the main entrance to the Visitor Center. Exhibits inside the Center include the Fort Smith's military history, the western expansion, the U.S. Deputy Marshals and outlaws as well as several exhibits that describe and depict the impact of the federal court on Indian Territory. Outside you'll see the foundations of the first Fort Smith, the Commissary and the reconstruction of the gallows that were used by the federal court.
If you're interested in Trollies, than Fort Smith has something to offer you. The Fort Smith Trolley Museum displays a fully restored, working, 1926 electric streetcar that visitors can take a ride on. While on the route of the Trolley, visitors will stop and get a look at the collection of old railroad engines, passenger cars, old Fort Smith buses, and other artifacts relating to transportation.
Other places to visit while in Fort Smith include the Time Line. Here you'll see one era to the next how life was lived in the region. The Darby Room has portraits William O. Darby who is considered a World War II hero and is known as Fort Smith's famous son. Darby was responsible for the organization and training of the First Ranger Battalion that was an elite combat force referred to as the Darby's Rangers. The Telephone Exhibit gives a great perspective into the evolution of the telephone starting with the 1880 telegraph machine. From there the exhibit takes visitors to an early switchboard and onto modern fiber optic cable.
If you're a doll collector, then you need to go to the Boyd Gallery that houses the 1,500-piece Ella Tilles Falk Doll Collection. From the 19th century German and French bisque dolls, to cloth and plastic dolls, the collection includes every doll imaginable.
Fort Smith even has something to offer the antique tool collector. The Museum of Antique Tools includes replicas of a 19th century woodworking shop. Tolls displayed include both hand and foot operated with many of the tools dating back to colonial times.
Built in 1857, the Vaughn-Schaap House Art Center is a Victorian Second Empire-style home that was built by Ethelbert Bright. In 1959, the home became residence to the Fort Smith ARt Center and houses galleries of sculptures, paintings and a number of other permanenet and changing exhibits.
Fort Smith, although it has many military based attractions, is also a place to find great food and shopping facilities to make any great visit better. Choose from Asian, American, Bar-B-Que, Italian or Mexican food. Fort Smith offers everything you can think of to make your visit to this community a visit you'll not soon forget.
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