May 14, 2007
Washington (Hempstead County), founded in 1824, was one of Arkansas Territory’s early settlements. The town, which served as the county seat until 1939, was a major stopping station on the Southwest Trail and was one of the last U.S. towns before entering Mexican territory. Washington prospered until the 1870s, when the railroad was constructed about nines miles away. Though still a vibrant community when this circa 1900 photo was taken, the town began to suffer a slow decline. Today, the restored town, a historic treasure, is known as Old Washington Historic State Park.