Our Story

Explore State Parks History

The State Parks of Arkansas have played important roles in the history of our state. Visit a park and walk where history happened. Explore a prehistoric, American Indian mound site that the Hernando de Soto expedition visited. Walk hallowed ground where Civil War battles raged. Stay overnight in Civilian Conservation Corps-era cabins that are a tribute to the conservation achievements and craftsmanship of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Tree Army during the New Deal. Tour historic Washington where Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and Sam Houston traveled before they fought for Texas independence.

Time travel through history and explore our interactive timeline below that stretches all the way back to prehistory. It is designed to reveal stories about Arkansas's heritage and help you understand how the history of Arkansas relates to your life.

On This Day in History
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Jacksonport State Park


The new campground, restrooms, pavilion and picnic area were dedicated and opened to the public. The keynote speaker was U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers. Other speakers included State Representative Albert Collier of Newport, State Senator Jim Wood of Tupelo, Terry Dillion, President of the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce, Former Senator Kaneaster Hodges Jr. of Newport, Master of Ceremonies, Orville Richolson former member and chairman of the Arkansas Park, Recreation and Travel Commission, Jimmy Wilmans Sr. of Newport, Richard Davies, Director of the Arkansas State Parks System, Rev. Alan Ford gave the prayer, Former State Senator Bob Harvey of Swifton, Gene Washburn of the Little Rock District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jo Luck Wilson, Director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Ed Stevenson, Chairman of the Arkansas State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. After the speeches over 1,000 visitors attending the dedication were served a chicken dinner supplied by the local businesses of Newport. Source: Jackson County Historical Society Scrapbook No.9 – September 28, 1980 – January 18, 1983, Newport Independent Newspaper, August 30, 1981 – “Jacksonport Park Dedicated”