Overview of Historically Interpreted Sites at Fort Smith
First Fort (1817-1824) - more...
The first Fort Smith was established at the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers in 1817 at a place named Belle Point. It was the highest navigable point on the Arkansas River at the time the site was chosen by the U.S. Army. The army abandoned the fort in 1824 and while used intermittently by transient troops, it was never maintained. Its exact location remained unknown until 1963, when archeologists uncovered the foundations visitors can see today.
Second Fort (1838-1871) - more...
In 1838 construction of a second fort was begun, this one built at a higher elevation and away from the river. Major buildings included two officer's quarters, a barracks, commissary, and quartermaster storehouse; all enclosed by a stone wall. Today visitors can see the Commissary Storehouse (the oldest building still standing in Fort Smith) and the former military barracks which was converted into the federal courthouse in 1872.
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Did You Know?
The garrison flag flown on the old military parade ground of Fort Smith National Historic Site bears 37 stars and is 20 x 30'. On special occasions visitors assist in raising the huge flag.