This National Historic Landmark interprets the Mississippi Period American Indian village that was located here from A.D. 1000 to 1550. Park visitors can also learn about site's early 20th-century Arkansas state history and the area's timber boom by touring Arkansas historic homes such as the circa 1910 Northern Ohio Schoolhouse that was constructed by the Northern Ohio Cooperate and Lumber Company for mill workers' children. Three-quarters of the sawmill workforce were black men. The frame, one-room schoolhouse was built adjacent to the northern boundary of the prehistoric American Indian village site and within easy walking distance of the Sawdust Hill community. The school provided first through eighth grade educations for the children of the sawmill workers
One of Arkansas's first state parks, Crowley's Ridge, is home to historic Arkansas homes and structures made from log and stone structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, setting the mood for this park's rustic warmth. You'll see several cabins of a group area, a large and impressive two-story pavilion, and an amphitheater designed to seat 1,000. The trail around CCC-built Lake Ponder features exhibits about the CCC work.
This National Historic District holds what has been called the most complete example of CCC park architecture. Selected as a park site in the 1930s, Lee Creek Valley provided the native wood and stone that the Civilian Conservation Corps used to craft the park's CCC/Rustic Style buildings and structures that include a native stone dam, a unique pavilion/restaurant, cabins in several styles and sizes, roads, trails, stone walls, bridges, and the iconic Yellow Rock Overlook.
Steamboats made Jacksonport a thriving river port in the 1800s. During the Civil War, both Confederate and Union troops vied for control of the town because of its crucial river locale at the confluence of the White and Black rivers. Jacksonport became county seat in 1854, but construction of a courthouse was delayed until 1869. Today, this stately courthouse stands as one of the finest historic restorations in the mid-South. Exhibits and interpretive programs tell the story of this historic riverport.
Five of the 18 cabins in this park, plus the nature center, are beautiful examples of log and stone CCC construction from the 1930s. Lake Catherine State Park, established in 1935, was one of Arkansas's first state parks.
Mammoth Spring, the 10th largest spring in the world, and a National Natural Landmark, flows nine million gallons of water each hour. Following the Civil War, this immense water source attracted industrialists who built a gristmill, and later, a dam here. Next, the investors opened large roller mills and a shoe factory. Soon after, the railroad arrived. Still standing near the spring is the charming 1886 Frisco Depot. At the dam, you can walk through the 1925 power plant that brought electricity to the region long before most other rural areas.
Rising 1,350 feet, Mount Nebo offers sweeping views of the Arkansas River Valley. Native stone and logs from Mount Nebo were used by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s to construct many of the park's historic homes, bridges, trails, rustic-style cabins, and a grand pavilion overlooking the valley below.
Historic Washington is a restored 19th-century town with 45 Arkansas historic homes and structures. Classic examples of Southern Greek Revival, Federal, Gothic Revival and Italianate architecture stand as a legacy to life in Washington from 1824 to 1889. From its establishment in 1824, Washington was an important stop on the rugged Southwest Trail to Mexico, and later, Texas. James Bowie, Sam Houston and Davy Crockett each traveled through Washington at various times. Stroll the plank boardwalks along streets that have never been paved, and explore this tree-shaded town many call "the Colonial Williamsburg of the Southwest." Experience pioneer life in 19th century America.
Petit Jean features CCC/Rustic Style architecture that endures as a legacy to the craftsmanship and conservation achievements of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park includes three National Historic Districts and contains more than 80 buildings, trails, and bridges. The most prominent architectural structure, Mather Lodge, stretches along the bluff of scenic Cedar Creek Canyon. The bluffs, waterfalls, and vistas of Petit Jean Mountain inspired the creation of Arkansas's first state park, and along with it Arkansas's state park system.
In the late 1800s, this busy river port on the Black River was the shipping point for a large territory. In 1888, a Victorian courthouse was built here. Restored in 1970 to the architect's original plans, the courthouse today serves as a regional archive that contains some of the oldest records in Arkansas state history. Tour the Powhatan Courthouse, 1873 Powhatan Jail, 1840s Ficklin-Imboden house, 1888 Telephone Exchange Building, and 1880s Powhatan Male and Female Academy, a unique two-room schoolhouse, all gracing their original foundations.
Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is recognized as one of America's most intact Civil War battlefields. The park has a museum and a collection of early Ozark buildings to tour, and interprets the effects of the Civil War on the civilian population in this area. The park protects the battle site and interprets the Battle of Prairie Grove, where on December 7, 1862, the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi clashed with the Union Army of the Frontier in a day of fierce fighting.
Within this modern camping, fishing and swimming park is the 1882 Woolly Cabin, the tightly designed, two-story log home of the Woolly family, the area's first settlers, offering a historic perspective to this peaceful hollow.