In 2013, Arkansas County will celebrate its 200th anniversary. It was named a county in 1813 by the Territorial Legislature of Missouri after an American Indian settlement, the Arkansas. Yes, it’s older than the state. According to arkansas.com, the Arkansas Territory was organized in 1819 and Arkansas was admitted to the Union as a state in 1836.
To celebrate, I decided to look back at pictures from my visit to the Arkansas Post Museum. This year marked my first visit to the museum, although I frequently visit the nearby Arkansas Post National Memorial. The museum, established in 1960, is the first county museum in Arkansas.
It focuses on the Arkansas Delta cultural and biological heritage with an emphasis on the Grand Prairie. I’m fascinated with the gallows — the iron piece was built in 1908 and stored in the Arkansas County Jail’s rafters in DeWitt to use as needed for capital punishment. It was never used since the electric chair was invented in 1913.
I also love the historical and cultural artifacts that the museum has displayed, especially the below dollhouse. The dollhouse was built in 1933 for Harriet Jane Carnes Bonner and is life-size. It even has the original toys and furniture as well as a fire place, electric lights and a screened porch.
The museum, as the above pictures show, is filled to the brim with fascinating objects relating to the county’s history. It’s worth stopping by to help kickoff the county’s anniversary with a lesson on its history.
If you do go, don’t forget the Refeld-Hinman Log House! It was built for Amelia Haller Refield in 1877 and the widow actually went on to marry one of the men who helped build it. The house was eventually sold to Curtis Hinman in 1884 and was later restored in the 1930s to serve as the headquarters for the Arkansas Post State Park. The house was moved to the museum once the state park became a national memorial.