Welcome to the Arkansas Post Museum!!
The Arkansas Post Museum is located about an hour southeast of Pine Bluff at the southernmost point of the historic Grand Prairie. Because of it's location at the juncture of the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers, the Arkansas Post started as a French trading post in 1686 and became the first permanent European settlement in Arkansas.
When Arkansas became a U.S. Territory in 1819, the Arkansas Post was a thriving river port and was selected as the new capital. But because of growing populations in other parts of the state, the capital was moved to Little Rock 1821. The Arkansas Post then served as an outpost for the Confederate army during the Civil War and they constructed a massive earthen fortification known as Fort Hindman. But on January 11, 1863, Union forces completely destroyed the fort and its surrounding homesteads, ensuring control of the Arkansas River.
The site was commemorated as our first historical Arkansas State Park in 1929 and, in 1964, thanks to the Grand Prairie Historical Society, it was transferred to the National Park Service for the creation of the Arkansas Post National Memorial.
Because some of the original artifacts didn't fit in with the timeline of the National Memorial, a new county museum was founded two miles away and four buildings were built to mimic how the ArkansasPost would've looked in 1821. In 1997, the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism took over operation of the museum and it became the Arkansas Post Museum State Park.
This museum park houses a collection of buildings and exhibits that give you a glimpse into our Arkansas history from 1877 today...The main house, a summer kitchen, gallows, the Re(h)feld-Hinmancabin, the Peterson Building, an office building, and a carriage house.
The main house serves as the entrance to the park showcasing artifacts from the Colonial period and includes a shop with park gifts and snacks. The summer kitchen is separate from the main house as it would've been in that time period. The gallows feature original iron components from 1908 and the traditional 13 steps, however, this gallows has never been used. The Re(h)feld-Hinman dog-trot cabin was built in 1877 and was relocated to serve as the original Arkansas Post State Park headquarters. In 1967, it was moved again to its current location and is furnished in the style of the late 1800's.Reh-feld hin-man.
Unfortunately, the Peterson Building was closed for renovation while we were there, but we hear one of the highlights inside is the 1930's playhouse built by state representative Grover C. Carnes for his daughter Harriet Jane. Built to scale, the child-size playhouse is furnished and even features a wood-burning fireplace, electricity and screened in back porch!
The park also features a Grand Prairie restoration project that includes native grasses and wildflowers and were lost due to farming. While you're in the area, make sure you visit the Arkansas Post National Memorial, just a couple miles down the road. This unique park is surrounded by beautiful trails and picnic spots, and also includes a museum and tells the story of the Arkansas Post and the now flooded area where Fort Hindman once stood. It's also the original location where the first office of Arkansas' first newspaper once stood...the Arkansas Gazette.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the Arkansas Post Museum and we encourage you to get out and experience The Natural State! For more information on the park, visit ArkansasStateParks.comAnd make sure you follow Arkie Travels on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for more Arkansas