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 »
Grounds Stop IV
At the Railroad Crossing
If you had stood here in 1825, on your right would have been Arkansas Territory, and on your left, a vast domain traded to the Choctaw Nation for their ancestral lands in the east. Fort Smith’s location here at the edge of Indian Country was a major factor in its evolution and vitality. The history of the fort and of the town growing up around it was shaped by the forced removal of eastern tribes to Indian Country, the booming border trade in contraband goods, the white settlers’ relentless push for land, and the military’s efforts to maintain order. The Choctaw lands remained part of Indian Country until 1907 when Oklahoma became a state.
Did You Know?
A woman was responsible for the building of a modern federal jail at Fort Smith, AR, in 1888. Anna Dawes, daughter of Sen. Dawes of MA, visited the "Hell on the Border" jail in 1885 and wrote an article describing its conditions. When read in Congress, money was quickly approved for a new jail.