A Lot of tour sites
"Fort Smith Grounds"
This is the original layout of the fort complex, with some buildings still standing. It gives you the feel for the size of the fort area. It was the fort guarding the gateway to the west for over 50 years. Actually it is the second fort after being expanded form the first. Later another fort was built closer in toward the town for safety and away form river floods.
There is a museum on the grounds that is recommended. It depicts the tough life out in west territory and the role Ft. Smith played in keeping order to a wild west. It is good and you could spend 3-4 hours going through it.
This is the original gallows used to hang people for breaking the law. Hanging was more prevalent back then, and many times, posses and marshals were sent out into the territory to bring back a wanted person.
Judge Isaac Parker lived in Ft. Smith for 40 years and got fame for no nonsense harsh penalties, but was a fair person. He tried over 13,000 cases and 79 people were hanged over 21 years on the bench. The territory west of Ft. Smith was Indian reservation, and a very wild and untamed west, even until 1900. There were 60 marshals killed trying to bring in wanted people to the west, but a number of the marshals were also of questionable ethics and repute.
"Tillies Prostitute House"
This is the house used to serve the troops and locals and territory wanders whom came into town. It was in operation for over 50 years, and rumor is politicians got paid off to keep open, besides their needing attending for their own services. It actually serves as the visitor center today, and is closest to the river on A Street. A historical society was created in 1977 to preserve some of the town old items and homes, as well as flesh out the museums for improved display
susie margaret and fort smith, arkansas, USA
hi, thanks for visiting!
i lived in fort smith from 1986 to 1992 and liked it a lot, although it is not a very cosmopolitan town. the people are
very friendly. I have an arkansas page also, which has info applicable to the whole state.
i am a 59-year-old single white woman, so all of my comments are from that perspective. it is OK to e-mail me at VT
or at "email@example.com"
if you find inaccuracies in this page, please let me know. thanks!
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ONE QUICK WARNING, though -- in the little town of ROLAND, OKLAHOMA, which is directly across the border from FORT SMITH, there is a well-known speed trap on route 64. if you are driving, slow down practically to a crawl when you go through town, even though the posted speed limit is 45 miles/hour. i was recently stopped while i was going 46 miles/hour and told that i was going 58 miles/hour, which was patently not true. this ticket cost $90.
one thing that i did not do that i should have done after being stopped was to ASK TO SEE the radar gun, which the officer should have "locked" at the offending speed. if you decide to fight the ticket, and the officer had refused to let you see the radar gun, this is good information to use as something to create reasonable doubt at your trial in municipal court, which is the court that handles speeding tickets.
be prepared for the fact, however, that the municipal court interprets the idea of "due process" very flexibly. there is no city prosecutor at this level, and basically, the judge acts as the prosecutor! unless you had somebody with you when you were ticketed who can serve as a witness, it is probably futile to try to fight a speeding ticket in the municipal court, which does not even have a court reporter. if you do want to fight a speeding ticket, be prepared to lose, but you can then appeal, if you want to, to a "court of record," which DOES have an actual prosecutor AND a court reporter, and get a new trial. i would just go ahead and pay the ticket unless a huge amount of money (by your own standards) is at stake.
the consolation prize (a phrase from american game shows on television) is that if you request it (and you should, because of the car insurance implications), either the municipal court or the police department will usually agree not to report the ticket to the driver's license department of your state.
it is NOT WISE to just ignore the ticket, because the municipal court will then issue a warrant for your arrest. it is unlikely that the city police will mount a manhunt to find you, but if you ever get stopped again, anywhere in the united states, your name is likely to be on a list of "persons wanted on pending warrant," and the result will be that the police where you have been stopped the second time will take you to THEIR jail until everything gets straightened out.
so either pay it or fight it, but do not ignore it. consider yourself warned.