The National Historic Landmarks in Arkansas represent Arkansas's history from the Louisiana Purchase through the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. It contains the landmarks designated by the U.S. Federal Government for the U.S. state of Arkansas. There are 16 National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) in Arkansas. Another NHL was formerly listed in the state but was moved to Oakland, California.
The history of Arkansas began millennia ago when humans first crossed into North America. Many tribes used Arkansas as their hunting lands but the main tribe was the Quapaw, who settled in Arkansas River delta upon moving south from Illinois. Early French explorers gave the territory its name, a corruption of Akansea, which is a phonetic spelling of the Illinois word for the Quapaw. This phonetic heritage explains why "Arkansas" is pronounced so differently than "Kansas" even though they share the same spelling. What began as a rough wilderness inhabited by trappers and hunters became incorporated into the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and became Arkansas Territory in 1819. Upon gaining statehood in 1836, Arkansas had begun to prosper under a plantation economy that was heavily reliant on slave labor. After the Civil War Arkansas was a poor rural state based on cotton. Prosperity returned in the 1940s. The state became famous for its political leadership, including President Bill Clinton, and as the base for the Walmart Corporation.
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, or approximately eighteen dollars per square mile, the United States acquired a total of 828,000 sq mi. The treaty was negotiated by French Treasury Minister François Barbé-Marbois and American delegates James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston.
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.
This page includes a list of National Park Service-administered historic areas in Arkansas.
The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.
This is a complete list of the 17 National Historic Landmarks in Arkansas.
A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Only some 2,500 (~3%) of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
|Landmark name||Image||Date designated||Location||County||Description|
|1||Arkansas Post||October 9, 1960|
| Gillett ||Arkansas||Commemorates the first semi-permanent European settlement in the Lower Mississippi Valley (1686); an American Revolutionary War skirmish (1783); the first territorial capital of Arkansas (1819–1821); and the American Civil War Battle of Fort Hindman (1863)|
|2||Daisy Bates House||January 3, 2001|
| Little Rock ||Pulaski||Supporting site for desegregation of Little Rock Central High School|
|3||Bathhouse Row||May 28, 1987|
| Hot Springs ||Garland||In Hot Springs National Park; largest collection of bathhouses in the United States; remains of the only federally-run spa|
|4||Beginning Point of the Louisiana Purchase Land Survey||April 19, 1993|
| Blackton ||Lee, Phillips, and Monroe||Point from which the lands acquired through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 were subsequently surveyed|
|5||Camden Expedition Sites||April 19, 1994|
| Camden and widely scattered sites across seven counties||Clark, Cleveland, Grant, Hempstead, Nevada, Ouachita, and Pulaski||Old U.S. Arsenal, Elkin's Ferry, Prairie De Ane Battlefield, Confederate State Capitol, Poison Springs Battlefield, Fort Lookout, Marks' Mills Battlefield, and Jenkins' Ferry Battlefield|
|6||Centennial Baptist Church||July 31, 2003|
| Helena-West Helena ||Phillips||Where Elias Camp Morris preached, unofficial headquarters for National Baptist Convention|
|7||City of Oakland (USS Hoga) (Tug)||June 30, 1989|
| North Little Rock ||Pulaski||Tugboat; at Pearl Harbor fought ship fires and helped push sinking USS Nevada out of the ship channel; served Oakland harbor for many years; The vessel was transferred to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (AIMM) in 2005 and was scheduled to be moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas in 2007. The move has been delayed by damage from Hurricane Katrina along the proposed tow route to AIMM and transport costs. She was moved to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in November 2015.|
|8||Eaker Site||June 19, 1996|
| Blytheville ||Mississippi||Archaeological site; shows evidence of pre-historic Nodena populations and also Quapaw occupation|
|9||Fort Smith||December 19, 1960|
| Fort Smith ||Sebastian||This site includes the remains of two 19th-century U.S. military forts and the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas.|
|10||Little Rock Central High School||May 20, 1982|
| Little Rock ||Pulaski||Focal point of the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957|
|11||Menard-Hodges Site||April 11, 1982|
| Nady ||Arkansas||Site includes two large mounds and several house mounds, as well as remains of a 17th-century French trading post; now owned by the National Park Service and administered as part of the Arkansas Post National Memorial.|
|12||Nodena Site||February 19, 1964|
| Wilson ||Mississippi||Located on Nodena Plantation; type site for an important Late Mississippian cultural component, the Nodena phase; date from about 1400-1700 AD; first excavations in 1897.|
|13||Old State House||December 9, 1997|
| Little Rock ||Pulaski||Oldest surviving state capitol building west of the Mississippi River.|
|14||Parkin Indian Mound||July 19, 1964|
| Parkin ||Cross||A Late Mississippian and protohistoric palisaded village with one mound; may be the town of Casqui mentioned by 16th century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.|
|15||Joseph Taylor Robinson House||October 12, 1992|
| Little Rock ||Pulaski||Home of influential Arkansas governor and U.S. senator|
|16||Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery||July 6, 1992|
| Rohwer ||Desha||Site of a World War II Japanese American internment camp|
|17||Toltec Mounds Site||June 2, 1978|
| Scott ||Lonoke||One of the most significant remnants of Native American life in the state.|
National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Monuments, and certain other areas listed in the National Park system are historic landmarks of national importance that are highly protected already, often before the inauguration of the NHL program in 1960, and are then often not also named NHLs per se. There are four of these in Arkansas. The National Park Service lists these four together with the NHLs in the state,The Arkansas Post National Memorial, the Fort Smith National Historic Site (shared with Oklahoma) and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site are also NHLs and are listed above. The remaining one is:
National Historic Site (NHS) is a designation for an officially recognized area of national historic significance in the United States. An NHS usually contains a single historical feature directly associated with its subject. A related but separate designation, the National Historical Park (NHP), is an area that generally extends beyond single properties or buildings, and its resources include a mix of historic and sometimes significant natural features.
Fort Smith National Historic Site is a National Historic Site located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, along the Arkansas River.
|Landmark name||Image||Date established||Location||County||Description|
|1||Pea Ridge National Military Park||20 July 1956||Pea Ridge||Benton||Site of Battle of Pea Ridge, March 7 and 8, 1862, a Union victory in the American Civil War|
Other National Park Service-administered areas in Arkansas are the Buffalo National River and the Hot Springs National Park (not historic per se but which includes Bathhouse Row, an NHL listed above).
The Buffalo River, located in Northern Arkansas, was the first National River to be designated in the United States. The Buffalo River is 153 miles (246 km) long. The lower 135 miles (217 km) flow within the boundaries of an area managed by the National Park Service, where the stream is designated the Buffalo National River. The river flows through Newton, Searcy, Marion, and Baxter Counties, from west to east. The river originates in the highest part of Boston Mountains of the Ozarks, flows out onto the Springfield Plateau near the historic community of Erbie, and finally crosses a portion of the Salem Plateau just before joining the White River. The Park is home to the state's only elk herd. The upper section of the river in the Ozark National Forest is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and is designated as a National Scenic River and a National Wild River; that section is not part of the area managed as a park by the Park Service, but is managed as a part of the Ozark National Forest.
Hot Springs National Park is an American national park in central Garland County, Arkansas, adjacent to the city of Hot Springs, the county seat. Hot Springs Reservation was initially created by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1832 to be preserved for future recreation. Established before the concept of a national park existed, it was the first time that land had been set aside by the federal government to preserve its use as an area for recreation. The hot spring water has been popularly believed for centuries to possess medicinal properties, and was a subject of legend among several Native American tribes. Following federal protection in 1832, the city developed into a successful spa town. Incorporated January 10, 1851, the city has been home to Major League Baseball spring training, illegal gambling, speakeasies and gangsters such as Al Capone, horse racing at Oaklawn Park, the Army and Navy Hospital, and 42nd President Bill Clinton. The area was made a national park on March 4, 1921. Until the redesignation of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial as Gateway Arch National Park in 2018, Hot Springs was the smallest national park by area in the United States. Since Hot Springs National Park is the oldest park maintained by the National Park Service, it was the first to receive its own US quarter in April 2010 as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters coin series.
Bathhouse Row is a collection of bathhouses, associated buildings, and gardens located at Hot Springs National Park in the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. The bathhouses were included in 1832 when the Federal Government took over four parcels of land to preserve 47 natural hot springs, their mineral waters which lack the sulphur odor of most hot springs, and their area of origin on the lower slopes of Hot Springs Mountain.
This is a list of properties and historic districts in Arkansas that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are more than 2,600 listings in the state, including at least 8 listings in each of Arkansas's 75 counties.
Little Rock National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery, located two miles (3 km) south of the city of Little Rock, in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It encompasses 31.7 acres (12.8 ha), and as of the end of 2005, had 25,172 interments. Administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, it is currently closed to new interments.
America's 11 Most Endangered Places or America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places is a list of places in the United States that the National Trust for Historic Preservation considers the most endangered. It aims to inspire Americans to preserve examples of architectural and cultural heritage that could be "relegated to the dustbins of history" without intervention.
The Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park commemorates the initial point from which the lands acquired through the Louisiana Purchase (1803) were subsequently surveyed. The protected area encompasses 37.5 acres (15.2 ha) of forested wetlands, a landform which is regionally in decline due to agricultural development practices that include draining such areas. In the center of the park is a 6-foot (1.8 m) marker erected in 1926 on the survey point by the L'Anguille Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1972) and designated as a National Historic Landmark (1993).