Road Construction I-540
Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »
Fort Smith in the Movies
No diehard movie fan can overlook Fort Smith as a setting for some of the great westerns of the silver screen. Best remembered for John Wayne's performance as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, a movie about the life and times of a deputy marshal out of Judge Parker's court, Fort Smith has not only provided the stories, but also the actors and the sets for a score of films.
Several movies have been filmed around the old courthouse itself, including most recently Frank and Jesse in 1993 and the Civil War mini-series The Blue and the Gray. The critically acclaimed mini-series Lonesome Dove also had a Fort Smith connection. Who knows when Hollywood will come calling again?
This sketch is part of a series, “Fort Smith Minutes,” originally developed by the park staff to provide one minute long public service announcements for local radio stations. These sketches provide a light and entertaining glimpse into the complex history of Fort Smith.
Did You Know?
The only known image of Judge Parker in his courtroom is this one from the federal courthouse on Sixth Street which dates from the 1890s. There are no photographs of the courtroom located in the former military barracks.