Fort Smith National Historic Site is at 301 Parker Ave. Incorporating the remains of two successive frontier forts, the site chronicles the frontier years 1817-96. Themes include military history, westward expansion, Indian Removal along the Trail of Tears, the Indian Territory, law and order in the late 19th century and the diverse people who lived in the region.
Seventy-nine felons were hanged at the fort during Judge Isaac C. Parker's 21 years on the bench of the U.S. District Court for Western Arkansas—outlaws dubbed him the “hanging judge.” The fort's visitor center in his restored courtroom features accurate furnishings and exhibits, a 15-minute DVD program about the fort's history and reproductions of the jail and barracks. A reproduction of the gallows also is at the site.