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?
The U.S. Army selected a spot overlooking the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers for the site of a fort. Soldiers from the Rifle Regiment arrived in 1817 and named the site Fort Smith after their commanding officer, Thomas A. Smith.