Museums and Historic Sites

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Entry Category: Museums and Historic Sites

Albert Pike Hotel

The Albert Pike Hotel in downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County) opened in 1929 and was one of the state’s best-known hotels for decades. In 1971, Little Rock’s Second Baptist Church bought the hotel for $740,000 and transformed it into a residence hotel. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It remains a residential facility for individuals aged fifty-five and older. The block on which the hotel was built had once been occupied by a house constructed in 1827 for Robert Crittenden, the secretary of the Arkansas Territory. The Crittenden House was among the first brick residences built in Little Rock. Facing financial problems, Crittenden attempted to trade the house for ten sections of undeveloped land, …

Alco School

The Alco School, located on State Highway 66 at Alco (Stone County), is a one-story, fieldstone-clad building constructed in 1938 by the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1992. Alco is located about fourteen miles west of the county seat, Mountain View (Stone County). A post office was established at Alco in 1878, and the unincorporated community had sufficient population to support a school. While no information about previous school buildings is available, local residents were able to get a new building in 1938 through the NYA, which provided jobs for young people during the Depression. The Alco School was one of about a …

Alderson-Coston House

The Alderson-Coston House is a one-and-a-half-story Craftsman-style home located on Pine Bluff Street in Malvern (Hot Spring County). Constructed in 1923, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 1995. The house is located in the Pine Bluff Street National Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. James Alderson was a businessman in Hot Spring County in the early twentieth century. The owner of the Malvern Meteor newspaper, he later served as postmaster of Malvern from 1934 to 1954. He was married to Lethe Alderson, who was active in a number of community organizations and served on the board of the Hot Spring County Library. The Aldersons …

Alexander House

The Alexander House in Little Rock (Pulaski County), built for Julian and Natalie Alexander in 1962, was designed in the Mid-Century-Modern style by noted Arkansas architect Noland Blass Jr. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 24, 2020. L. Julian Alexander was the owner of Majestic Laundry and Cleaners, a highly successful Little Rock laundry and dry-cleaning business. He and his wife, Natalie Loeb Alexander, were involved in civic affairs in Little Rock. Julian Alexander was a Pulaski County Grand Jury foreman and a member of the Board of Equalization. He also served as crusade chairman for the Pulaski County Unit of the American Cancer Society and was a member of its executive committee, the …

Allen Tire Company and Gas Station

The Allen Tire Company and Gas Station was a Craftsman-style, purpose-built gas station located in Prescott (Nevada County). Constructed in 1924, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 25, 2001. The building burned around 2019 and no longer exists. The building was constructed by Henry Harrison Allen after his retirement from the lumber industry in 1924. Built on the corner of the same lot as his home, the station was located at 228 First Street Southwest. (First Street is also U.S. Highway 67.) The Allen family operated a combined gas station and tire company in the building, and for at least part of that period, the station sold Magnolia-brand gasoline. Allen operated the station until …

American Legion Hut (Des Arc)

aka: Burson-Bethel Post 119 American Legion Hut
The American Legion Hut in Des Arc (Prairie County), located at 206 Erwin Street, is a Rustic-style structure erected in 1934 with assistance from the Civil Works Administration (CWA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 9, 1995. Des Arc’s American Legion Post was named for two fallen soldiers during World War I: Edward Burson and Bedford B. Bethel of Des Arc. Burson, twenty-one, was killed in action in France on October 6, 1918, and Bethel, twenty-nine, died of pneumonia on October 30, 1918. As with several other American Legion posts around the state in the early 1930s, Burson-Bethel Post 119 decided to seek funding from the CWA to finance …

American Legion Post 127 Building

aka: Wilson Burnett Post 127 American Legion Hut
The American Legion Post 127 Building, located on the northeast corner of Cherry and Armstrong streets in Eudora (Chicot County), is a Rustic-style structure erected in 1934 with assistance from the Civil Works Administration (CWA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 8, 1992. Local veterans of World War I established an American Legion post at Eudora on April 9, 1920, and named it in honor of Wilson B. Burnett, an eighteen-year-old soldier from Montrose (Ashley County) who was killed in action in France on July 20, 1918. It would be another fourteen years before the post had a permanent home with the assistance of the CWA. In seeking CWA …

Angus McLeod House

The Angus McLeod House, once located at 912 North 13th Street in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), was built in 1905 and consisted of three stories with a full basement. Designed in the Neoclassical style, the dwelling was constructed of pink bricks ordered specially from New Orleans, Louisiana. McLeod employed many such imported materials in the construction of the dwelling, which was featured in the 1982 movie The Blue and the Gray. The Angus McLeod House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 8, 1978, but it was destroyed by fire in 2010 and removed from the register in 2018. Rusticated hewn-stone and masonry blocks extended the width of the house and wrapped around the south end …

Anthony House

From 1830 until 1875, a premier hotel stood on the southwest corner of Markham and Scott streets in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was known by different names throughout its existence, but it is best remembered as the Anthony House. The location in the heart of downtown Little Rock with frontage on Markham Street put the hotel in an excellent location for travelers, and for many years it also served as stagecoach offices. Major Nicholas Peay arrived in Little Rock in 1825. He rented a house and opened a tavern. In 1829, he purchased lots on the southwest corner of Markham and Scott streets. In 1830, he built a one-story frame building on Markham Street that he opened as a …

Argenta Historic District

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993, the Argenta Historic District in downtown North Little Rock (Pulaski County) has anchored the revival of the city’s urban core. It is bounded by Broadway on the south, 9th Street on the north, Poplar Street on the east, and North Broadway on the west. The district includes 258 residential and commercial properties representing a continuum of the city’s development from the late 1880s to the 1940s, when North Little Rock grew from a muddy outpost on the Arkansas River opposite Little Rock (Pulaski County) to a primary railroad and industrial center with the second-largest population in the state. True to its working-class roots as a city of railroad yards, cotton oil mills, factories, …

Arkadelphia Boy Scout Hut

The Arkadelphia Boy Scout Hut is a log building located in Central Park in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Constructed by local boys and members of the National Youth Administration (NYA) in 1938–39, the Rustic-style building is owned by the city and used by various Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 28, 2002. The NYA was a New Deal agency created to offer employment opportunities for youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. Construction of the hut was supervised by Edwin Dean, the district supervisor from Camden (Ouachita County), and Edward Wyate, the supervisor from Hope (Hempstead County). The local foreman was A. F. Bishop of Arkadelphia, who supervised …

Arkadelphia Commercial Historic District

The Arkadelphia Commercial Historic District consists of twenty-nine contributing buildings located in the heart of downtown Arkadelphia (Clark County). A total of forty-eight buildings and a park are in the district boundaries. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 20, 2011. The borders of the district are roughly Main Street between 5th and 7th streets and Clinton Street between 6th and 9th streets. The city of Arkadelphia grew westward, away from the Ouachita River, which is located about a half mile away from the district. The buildings in the district evolved over the years. The earliest buildings in the district are free standing or in a row and are frame or brick constructed on …

Arkansas Air Museum

“Promoting Aviation by Preserving the Past” is the mission statement of the Arkansas Air Museum in Fayetteville (Washington County). The museum was Arkansas’s first museum dedicated entirely to aviation history. Located in a hangar at Fayetteville’s Drake Field, the museum occupies the oldest aviation-related structure still standing in northwest Arkansas. The hangar was constructed during World War II. Because of wartime resource limitations, Henry George, Fayetteville’s engineering assistant, developed the hangar out of wood, with construction starting on May 1, 1943. As well as designing the hangar, George worked as plumber, electrician, and welder on the project. At no time did the project employ more than four carpenters, three helpers, and George. Total cost for building the hangar was around …

Arkansas Country Doctor Museum (ACDM)

The Arkansas Country Doctor Museum (ACDM) in Lincoln (Washington County), in rural northwest Arkansas, is located in an eleven-room combined house, office, and four-bed clinic used successively by three physicians from 1936 until 1973. It features numerous examples of vintage medical equipment and a Hall of Honor highlighting notable pioneer-area physicians and their contributions to patients and the community. A carriage house and an educational building are also part of the museum. Dr. Harold Boyer, son of the last doctor to use the clinic, established the ACDM in 1994 to honor his father and other country doctors and the values they embodied. Herbert L. Boyer graduated from the University of Arkansas Medical Department, now the University of Arkansas for Medical …

Arkansas County Courthouse, Northern District

  The Arkansas County Courthouse in Stuttgart (Arkansas County) is a Classical Revival–style, brick building designed by J. B. Barrett and constructed by the Barrett and Ogletree firm in 1928. The courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 1992. Arkansas Post was the original Arkansas County seat after statehood, but, as Arkansas Post’s population waned, citizens wanted a more central location for the seat. DeWitt was chosen and served as the sole county seat until the early 1920s, when Stuttgart’s rapid growth, due to the railroad and the increase in rice and soybean production, brought additional civic and legislative responsibilities to the community. After several court hearings, it was decided that Stuttgart would be a secondary county seat, …

Arkansas County Courthouse, Southern District

The Arkansas County Courthouse for the Southern District in DeWitt (Arkansas County) was designed by Little Rock (Pulaski County) architect H. Ray Burks and constructed by E. V. Bird Construction Company. Built in 1931, this three-story building is a prime example of the Art Deco style used in many Arkansas buildings constructed during this time period. Located at 101 Court Square, the current Arkansas County Courthouse is the fourth courthouse built in DeWitt. First, three log courthouse buildings were built in 1855 by Colonel Charles W. Belknap, approximately one block from the current site. One building was for a courtroom, another for the clerk’s and sheriff’s offices, and the third for a jury room. This set of buildings was replaced …

Arkansas Highway 57 Bridge

The Arkansas Highway 57 Bridge crosses railroad tracks in Stephens (Ouachita County). Constructed in 1928, the bridge is a Warren pony truss with a pedestrian walkway located on the outside of the superstructure. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2005. Once used for vehicular traffic, it later became a pedestrian bridge. Stephens was founded as a stop on the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway. The St. Louis Southwestern Railway, also known as the Cotton Belt, took control of the line after 1882. With a 160-acre plot to construct a settlement, the owners of the rail line convinced several business owners in nearby Richland (Ouachita County) to move to the new settlement in …

Arkansas Historic Wine Museum

The Arkansas Historic Wine Museum in Paris (Logan County) is the only museum in the United States dedicated to preserving the wine heritage of an entire state. The museum stores and displays artifacts from the earliest days of the Arkansas wine industry up to the present. Formally incorporated in 1994 (though it had been established by Robert G. Cowie, owner of Cowie Wine Cellars, in 1967 as a hobby), this institution has received numerous awards, including the Bootstrap Award from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, which is presented to those institutions that make great achievements on a limited budget. The museum has also been featured in American Profile magazine. Cowie started collecting artifacts of regional winemaking in 1957 …

Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (AIMM) in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) is home to Arkansas’s only historic naval vessel open to the public for tours, the USS Razorback (SS 394). It also includes a U.S. Navy tugboat, the USS Hoga. The museum also offers a small research library and a number of permanent and rotating exhibits on submarines and naval history. Hearing of the Razorback’s approaching decommission, a group of submarine veterans initiated an effort to return the submarine to the United States. They approached Mayor Patrick Henry Hays of North Little Rock in 2002 about the possibility of docking the Razorback in Arkansas. At that time, the city was already working to acquire the Hoga, a tugboat present at …

Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources

The Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources houses exhibits that tell the story of oil and bromine production in southern Arkansas, with particular attention given to the historic oil boom that began in the 1920s. The center also interprets the history of these resources from the beginning of the oil’s creation eons ago through modern times. In the 1920s, nationwide attention focused on this area when the Smackover oil field was ranked first among the nation’s oil fields with a yearly production of sixty-nine million barrels in 1925. In 1925, during south Arkansas’s oil boom, the forty-square-mile Smackover oil field was the focal point of one of the fastest mineral booms in North America, with 1,000 wells drilled in the first six …

Arkansas National Guard Museum

The Arkansas National Guard Museum’s primary mission is to collect information and artifacts relating to the Arkansas National Guard and its militia predecessor and make that information and those artifacts available to the public and to posterity. In addition, the museum tells the story of Camp Pike/Camp Robinson. It is located in Lloyd England Hall on Camp Robinson in North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Lloyd England Hall, originally constructed in 1931, is on the National Register of Historic Places. There has been a museum in Lloyd England Hall since the mid-1970s. The hall was constructed in 1932 as a multi-purpose center with a reading room, writing room, and large area with a stage and a balcony that held a movie …

Arkansas Post Museum State Park

Arkansas Post Museum State Park in southeast Arkansas displays exhibits and artifacts and presents programs about Arkansas Post—the first permanent European settlement in the state—and life in the state’s Delta region, including the Grand Prairie. It succeeded Arkansas Post State Park, which was transferred to the National Park Service in 1964 for creation of the Arkansas Post National Memorial. The museum complex is located at the junction of Highways 165 and 169. The Arkansas Post State Park Commission, established by Legislative Act 57 of 1929, acquired sixty-two acres that had been occupied by Arkansas Post when it became the capital of Arkansas Territory in 1819, when the territory was established. At the time of the park’s creation, there were no …

Arkansas Railroad Museum

The Arkansas Railroad Museum in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) grew out of an effort by the Cotton Belt Historical Society to preserve the last steam-powered locomotive built in Arkansas. It has since expanded to include other artifacts of Arkansas’s railroad heritage. The Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Inc., was organized on October 18, 1983, primarily for the purpose of saving the Cotton Belt steam locomotive SSW 819, a 4-8-4 Northern-type steam locomotive that was the last steam-powered locomotive constructed in Arkansas. The locomotive had been retired and donated to the City of Pine Bluff in 1955, when machines of its type were being replaced by diesel-burning locomotives. It was placed in a city park, later called the Martin Luther King …

Arkansas Research and Test Station

The Arkansas Research and Test Station site in Montgomery County was one of two stations constructed in the United States in the early 1960s capable of transmitting communications to satellites orbiting the Earth. Constructed in 1965–66 and in operation until 1969, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 21, 2017. The exact location of the site is restricted. The site was constructed by the Hughes Aircraft Company, founded by Howard Hughes. After initial efforts to place the site near Fayetteville (Washington County) to work with the University of Arkansas (UA) failed, the company struggled to find a suitable location. A location was finally chosen in rural Montgomery County that was located far enough from any …

Arkansas State University Museum

The Arkansas State University Museum, located on the Arkansas State University (ASU) campus in Jonesboro (Craighead County), holds significant historic, archaeological, and natural history collections hailing primarily from the state of Arkansas. One of the first museums in the Southeast to be accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM), it is the largest and most comprehensive museum in northeast Arkansas. The museum originated in 1933, opening under the name Arkansas State College Historical Museum as a creation of the Arkansas State College History Club. The fledgling museum was accorded prime space in the newly built Wilson Hall, where it mounted its first exhibits in four wooden cases. In 1948, the museum was incorporated under the name Arkansas State Museum …

Arkansas Tech University Museum

aka: Tech Museum
The Arkansas Tech University Museum, chartered as the Museum of Prehistory and History at Arkansas Tech University in December 1989 by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees, is part of the College of Arts and Humanities. The mission of the museum is to collect and interpret the history of Arkansas Tech in Russellville (Pope County). It formerly served as a regional history and archaeology museum that interpreted human experience in the Arkansas River Valley of western Arkansas. The museum was established as a cooperative effort by Arkansas Tech, the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest Service’s Russellville office, and the Arkansas Archeological Survey Coordinating Office in Fayetteville (Washington County). Forest Service grants, along with monies from Arkansas Tech, funded the renovation of one-fourth of Tucker Hall …

Arlington Hotel

The Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs (Garland County) was built at the dawn of the city’s golden era as a resort destination, a time before Las Vegas or Florida had been developed into tourist destinations. Always among the largest hotels in the state, the Arlington is one of the most recognizable landmarks associated with the city of Hot Springs and its bathhouse district, and has been a destination for the wealthy and famous throughout its history. Following the Civil War, the city of Hot Springs quickly began to regain its popularity as a tourist destination. In response to a shortage of hotels to accommodate the growing number of visitors arriving to enjoy the natural thermal springs in the area, Samuel …

Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM), is the hub for fine arts, performing arts, arts and science classes, and hands-on children’s science exhibits for the ten-county area of southeastern Arkansas. The mission of the Arts & Science Center is to “provide opportunities for the practice, teaching, performance, enjoyment and understanding of the arts and sciences.” The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas traces its history to March 4, 1968, when two local community arts groups merged by ordinance of the Pine Bluff City Council and assumed the name of Civic Center Arts Museum. Soon afterward, the center grew to include performing arts, science exhibits, …