• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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Commissary: Old Fort Museum

sepia tone photo of Commissary with handwritten text on front

To view a larger image of this postcard in a new window, click here.

At the end of the 19th century the Commissary was sold to a private owner. In 1910, a ladies' group acted to save the Commissary as a place to preserve the community's heritage. The Old Commissary Museum (later known as the Old Fort Museum) occupied the building for nearly 70 years, longer than either the army or the federal court.

This photo postcard shows the museum's sign on the building and two Civil War era cannons on the grounds. One of these cannons is still on the fort grounds and the other is on exhibit at the Fort Smith Museum of History (formerly known as the Old Fort Museum).

The postcard was published by McCann Photo Company, Fort Smith, Arkansas. Bob McCann's business was on Garrison Avenue in downtown Fort Smith and he published many postcards of the city.

The postcard below is a colorized, cropped version of his photograph of the Commissary.

To view the postcard below as a larger image in a new window, click here.

colorized photo of Commissary showing two people standing off to right
Commissary Building of Old Fort Smith
colorized postcard of Commissary with museum sign on building
Old Commissary Building

Did You Know?

Park staff and volunteers demonstrating using lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the cannon's primer

The soldiers who came to Fort Smith in 1817 were still using some 18th century technology and drill. The cannon was discharged using a lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the primer, which originally was loose powder or a turkey quill filled with powder.