DescriptionOn SR 169, 7 miles south of Gillett along the lower Arkansas River, the Arkansas Post National Memorial occupies 389 acres. Erected as a fort by the French in 1686, Arkansas Post was the first permanent European settlement in the lower Mississippi Valley. Ownership passed to Spain 1765-1800, then briefly reverted to France. With the Louisiana Purchase, the post became a frontier village.
Arkansas Post was the home of Arkansas' first newspaper, the Gazette, and the first capital of the Arkansas Territory. In 1821, both the newspaper and the capital moved to Little Rock. The site continued as a river port until the Civil War, when it became the scene of one of the state's major battles.
A visitor center and museum contain historical exhibits. Visitors can tour the town site, hike nature trails and fish, as well as enjoy bird-watching opportunities available due to the memorial's location along the Mississippi Flyway. Memorial open daily 8-dusk. Visitor center daily 8-5; closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Free. Phone (870) 548-2207.