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
HISTORY SEARCH
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Plantation Agriculture Museum

12/7/1984

Jo Luck Wilson, Executive Director of the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, Greg Butts and Bill Paxton from the Planning and Development Section met with Representative Bill Foster and the Dortch family Lawyer, John Edwards at the museum. A January 24th 1985 memo said. "The visit was made at the request of Representative William "Bill" Foster of District 71. Representative Foster had previously suggested that the following resources could possibly be purchased by the state from Mr. Robert Dortch and be utilized as a museum administered by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism."

Mammoth Spring State Park

12/7/1976

Catastrophic fire at Gulf Oil Company’s fuel storage tank adjacent to park destroys two gas transport trucks, a railroad car loaded with lumber and 8,500 gallons of gasoline. No fatalities – one person received minor burns.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

12/7/1862

The Battle of Prairie Grove on December 7, 1862, was the last time two major armies of almost equal strength faced each other for supremacy in northwest Arkansas. The Confederate army withdrew from Prairie Grove on the night of December 7, leaving Missouri and northwest Arkansas in Federal hands.