Historical Places in NW Arkansas
The Northwest region of the state has some of the important historical sites in Arkansas: American Civil War Battlefields; the Clinton House Museum --first home of Bill and Hillary Clinton; Old Main--the University of Arkansas building erected in 1875; Civil War Headquarters, Victorian mansions and homes from the pre-civil war years; and quite a few museums holding everything from Civil War artifacts, items from paleo-Indian times, airplanes, and more.
The entire downtown of Eureka Springs is on the National Historic Register, and everything - from the springs to the rock walls to the homes and shops - have old stories to tell.
There are 72 historical buildings within the city limits of Bentonville, with quite a few downtown around the square. Most of downtown was burned during the Civil War, so the oldest existing structures date from 1875-1888.
Massey Hotel Building Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and now housing the public library. It stands on a site where historic hotels have always been located in town. The original Massey Hotel, finished in 1910, suffered a disastrous fire some years later. Much of the interior was destroyed and had to be rebuilt. Exterior renovations stayed as close to the original as possible, keeping the look of this architecturally significant and important local historic landmark.
The Peel Mansion Museum Built in 1875 as a striking example of the Italianate Villa Style, and now furnished with artifacts from the early Victorian era. Elegant balustrades, the unusual Asian-inspired mantel in the library, and the Greek Revival parlor trim are notable. Period lighting adds to the historic feeling of the mansion. Surrounding gardens have been planted with heirloom roses, perennials and native plants true to the time period. 400 S. Walton Blvd, was 479-273-9664.
Museum of Native American Artifacts Objects as old as 14,000 years are on display.The museum is divided into five time periods presented in chronological order, exhibiting artifacts from Paleo-Indian times to more recent historic events. Some of the pottery on display, like the Quapaw pot shown here, is quite rare. 202 SW O St., 479-273-2456.
The Bella Vista Historical Museum Photographs and artifacts show historic Bella Vista Resort from 1917 to 1963; modern Bella Vista is also highlighted. 1885 Bella Vista Way. 479-855-2335
Veterans Wall of Honor All vets who served in the U.S. Armed Forces since 1776 have their names incised on granite tablets here. The monument is in a park-like site on Lambeth Road, and is always open and fully lit at night.
Headquarters House A skirmish on its front lawn during a Civil War battle left a miné ball scar on a front door. This historic house (headquarters for both warring armies as each took possession of the city) is now a museum. Guides in period costume describe the museum-quality antiques in the house, and Living History presentations bring the past vibrantly to life. Also on the grounds is the relocated cabin that served as the c.1835 Archibald Yell law office. 118 E. Dickson St, 479-521-2970.
The Ridge House A famous historic landmark, it was the refuge for Sarah Bird Northrup and her children after her Cherokee husband, John Ridge, was assassinated. The house stands as a site commemorating the Ridge family and all those who traveled the infamous Trail of Tears. Enclosed in the clapboard house are the log walls of her original cabin, the oldest dwelling in town, dating from the late 1800s. The log walls can be seen inside the front foyer of the house at 230 W. Center St.
Clinton House Museum Bill and Hillary Clinton's first home together was in Fayetteville and it's now a museum. The back yard "First Ladies Garden" is planted with flowers, shrubs and trees all associated with First Ladies. In front of the house, more than 3,000 daffodils bloom each spring. 930 W. Clinton Dr. 479-444-0066.
Arkansas Air Museum Memorabilia spanning the history of manned flight, and open cockpit biplanes and closed cabin monoplanes from 1929-1969 on display. Master craftsmen repair antique planes in the restoration shop, and the public is invited to watch and ask questions. 4290 South School Ave. 479-521-4947
Start your historical journey of Rogers with a stroll downtown, where historic buildings house modern businesses, seamlessly blending old and new.
The Rogers Historical Museum Packed with historical artifacts and displays of Northwest Arkansas. Free, with modest charges for some special exhibits. Wheel-chair accessible. 322 S. Second St. 479-621-1154.
Daisy Air Gun Museum Preserves and promotes vintage products and artifacts of the historic Daisy company, as well as unusual antique airguns from as early as the 17th century. 202 W. Walnut St. 479-986-6873
Shiloh Museum of Ozark History Exhibits interpret much of the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks. Six historic buildings on the grounds, and a research library with more than half a million photos of Ozark life. Before it was called Springdale, the little settlement here was known as Shiloh, and the museum name honors that. 18 W. Johnson Ave. 479-750-8165.
The Springdale Bluff Cemetery predates the Civil War, and the worn old gravestones reflect the age of the place. 900 N Shiloh Dr.
The old barn used by the Butterfield Stage Line is still standing at 2327 Old Wire Rd...one of the very few left. The white house there is also historic, as it was a stage stop called the Fitzgerald Inn and Tavern.
The old Shiloh Church-IOOF Hall at 121 W. Huntsville Rd. was built in 1868 as a church and sold to the Oddfellows in 1936. On the National Register of Historic Places.
Another charming historic downtown with buildings on the National Register. The oldest building downtown is the Crown Hotel, built in 1881. Most of the other historic buildings date to c.1893, and are currently used for modern shops and eateries.
Siloam Springs Museum Interprets the past with both permanent and temporary exhibits. Early settler Simon Sager's 1845 cabin has been restored and now sits on the campus of John Brown University in Siloam Springs. You can learn more about him and early Siloam Springs at the museum.
Settled by Italian immigrants and an Italian Catholic priest in 1898, and very proud of its ethnic origins. The The Tontitown Museum displays photos of original settlers, and exhibits original household items, early winemaking equipment, plus items from the first Catholic church in town. Few Italian immigrants made it this far west in the 1800s, making this a unique place. Museum open weekends 1-4 p.m, June through Oct. 251 E. Henri de Tonti Blvd. 479-361-2700
Arkansas Country Doctor Museum Just six miles from the Prairie Grove Battlefield. See how medicine was practiced in "the good old days," when doctors had offices but made house calls. Once a home and clinic, the museum medical equipment from the early to mid-20th century. Examine an iron lung, an old dental chair, original furnishings of the house and clinic, an 1886 doctor's buggy and a 1924 Model-T. The herb garden still grows a selection of medicinal plants. Free admission. Open Wed-Sat, 1-4 p.m. 109 N. Starr Ave (2 blocks from US Hy 62). 479-824-4307
Civil War buffs will appreciate a trip to Pea Ridge Battlefield National Military Park as well as Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park.
Eureka Springs Historical Museum First stop on a historical tour. View collected photos and artifacts from the area's past and pick up maps and guides to historic places around town. 95 S. Main.
Bank of Eureka Springs Museum 70 S. Main. The Cornerstone Bank, houses a collection of century-old original furniture and fixtures, plus brass teller cages, pot-bellied stove, candlestick telephones, and many other turn-of-the-20th-century items.
Carroll County Court House At 44 S. Main, the historic County Courthouse is worth a peek inside. In the downstairs lobby you can pick up tourist brochures and information about the city.
City Auditorium Just past the Courthouse, and known to locals as The Aud. John Phillip Sousa,Willie Nelson, BB King, The Smothers Brothers, and a lot of other stage icons performed here. It's still in use today.
Basin Spring Park Main St. heads down a slight incline where it joins Spring St., which goes uphill. Walk up Spring St. to visit Basin Spring Park, where the spring that started it all is located. Next to the park is the Basin Park Hotel, an icon of Eureka Springs. Continue up Spring St. and see the old Post Office,Harding and Sweet Springs, the limestone Carnegie Library, and some of the grandest old houses in town.Downtown shops are all housed in historic buildings, and you'll pass several springs on the way.
And that's just the short tour. There's still The Crescent Hotel to visit at the top of Spring St, as well as St.Elizabeth's Catholic Church where you enter through the bell tower, and the whole of the Historic Loop to explore. You might consider riding one of the old-fashioned trolleys around town to capture the flavor of it all. Or take a guided Eureka Van Tour (call 479-981-1559), or a narrated Tram Tour (call 479-253-6852.)