Hindman Hall Grand Reopening Slated for Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m. at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

Article follows the photos:
The battle begins.
The battle begins.
The generals of the armies.
The generals of the armies.
The artillery.
The artillery.
Neighbors and witnesses to the battle.
Neighbors and witnesses to the battle.

(PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark.) — Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is recognized as one of America’s most intact Civil War battlefields. This 838-acre park protects the heart of the original 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 resulting in 2,700 casualties. Hindman Hall, the park’s battlefield museum, closed in the fall of 2010 to undergo interior renovation including the installation of new exhibits. The museum’s grand reopening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m. The public is invited. A reception and tours, plus living history programs, will follow. Complimentary admission to Hindman Hall will be offered throughout the day. Speakers at the ceremony will be Richard W. Davies, executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism; Greg Butts, director of Arkansas State Parks; Darin Gray, vice-chairman of the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission; Kate Barger, president of the Prairie Grove Chapter #1006 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy; and Park Superintendent Jessee Cox. Grant monies from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council funded the building’s renovation including interior improvements and a new exhibit gallery. These enhancements at the museum were completed in time for the 2012 sesquicentennial commemoration of the Battle of Prairie Grove.

The $141,593 interior renovation and repairs included relocation of walls for better utilization of space and circulation; asbestos abatement; replacement of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system; renovation of the flooring; and rehabilitation and repair of the skylight and entry doors. The Arkansas State Parks architect, HP Engineering, Inc. of Fayetteville, and Environmental Enterprise Group, Inc. of Fayetteville collaborated on the designs of these improvements.

The new exhibit gallery’s design, fabrication and installation totaled $653,625. Interpreting and detailing the Battle of Prairie Grove, the exhibits share stories about the battle, how the landscape affected and shaped the strategic decisions made by both armies, and the Civil War’s devastating local effect. They explain how this hallowed ground is safeguarded by the State of Arkansas so these remarkable stories can be told. And, they tell the state park’s story where through the foresight and generosity of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Hindman family this battlefield park was founded, a park legacy which Arkansas State Parks protects and shares with park visitors today and will for generations to come. The exhibits were designed and fabricated by Taylor Studios, Inc. of Rantoul, Illinois.

According to Park Superintendent Jessee Cox, “Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is one of our nation’s most intact Civil War battlefields. As you experience the park, you see a landscape as it looked when the armies fought here on December 7, 1862. You walk over hallowed ground where history happened. And, now you can also explore these new, engaging interactive exhibits that bring that history alive.” He said, “The new exhibit gallery brings into summation how the battle affected northwest Arkansas and its people, forever changing this ridge and this area.”

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. The park is on U.S 62 in Prairie Grove.

For more information, contact: Holly Houser, park interpreter, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, 506 East Douglas Street, Prairie Grove, AR 72753. Phone: 479-846-2990. E-mail: holly.houser@arkansas.gov. Or, visit ArkansasStateParks.com/PrairieGrove.

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