Powhatan Things to Do

  • Welcome to Powhatan Courthouse State Park
    Welcome to Powhatan Courthouse State...
    by Stephen-KarenConn
  • The Powhatan Courthouse
    The Powhatan Courthouse
    by Stephen-KarenConn
  • Things to Do
    by Stephen-KarenConn

Most Recent Things to Do in Powhatan

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Ruins of the Suspension Bridge

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Dec 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pillars of the old Suspension Bridge
    2 more images

    These twin pillars on the bank of the Black River are all that remains of the Powhatan suspension bridge which spanned the river at one time. The bridge was 382-feet long and high enough to escape floodwaters when the river overflowed. It was built in 1926 by Harry Bovay and saw service for a quarter of a century.

    When the suspension bridge was built many people in Powhatan hoped it would be a boost to the town which was already beginning to decline. Ironically, the bridge seemed to hasten Powhatan's demise. Several local businesses were torn down to make way for the bridge and it's anchoring system. The bridge actually overpassed much of the downtown area and travelers often crossed over and onward toward larger cities without stopping.

    The Powhatan bridge was made obsolete by the opening of the nearby Black Rock Bridge in 1949, and was torn down in 1951.

    Click the link below for a historic black and white photo of the old "Powhatan Swinging Bridge."

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Ficklin-Imboden House

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Dec 1, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Ficklin-Imboden Housel
    1 more image

    Built of logs Circa. 1933, the Ficklin-Imboden House is the oldest standing building in Lawrence County. It is said to be "a fine example blending of the 'Tidwater South' and 'Midland' building syles.

    Visitors may tour the house, which is complete with period furnishings. There is a detatched kitchen to the rear of the house. It offers a glimpse into an earlier time on what was once the American frontier.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Old Powhatan Townsite

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Dec 1, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Historic Powhatan Townsite
    1 more image

    A series of several stair steps leads down the rocky hill upon which the Powhatan Courthouse stands to Powhatan's original town site. It sits in the river bottom where the ferry crossing and busy river traffic once kept the city a beehive of acitvity.

    Only two buildings remain of the many (both commercial and residential) which comprised the town in the mid to late 19th century. Visitors may also see a few old foundations and an old well. Historical markers on the grounds and brochures, available at the Visitor Center, explain some of the points and features of Powhatan's colorful past.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Powhatan Male & Female Academy

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Dec 1, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Powhatan Male and Female Academy
    1 more image

    The Powhatan Male and Female Academy, on a hill just east of the Post Office, was estabished in 1854 and the current structure built in 1890. With the demise of the town, the academy fell into disuse. It was listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1974 and in 2001 the building was restored, with some of its original furnishings, as a part of the Powhatan Courthouse State Historic Park.

    A highlight of the Academy today is that it offers "A School Day of 1900," in the restored classroom, for modern teachers and students on field trips. Its a great way to make a history lesson come alive.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Powhatan Historic State Park

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 26, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Welcome to Powhatan Courthouse State Park
    3 more images

    It is amazing to realize that in the 1800s this tiny out-of-the-way village was the chief trading center and shipping point for a large territory. Lawrence County, called the mother of counties, originally covered most of the northern half of the state of Arkansas - a territory which has since been sub-divided into 32 different counties.

    The town began to decline after it was bypassed by the Frisco Railroad, rail travel began to overtake riverboats as the preferred method of transportation and highways improved. The ferry stopped running in the 1950s, the suspension bridge closed in 1951, the school was consolidated in 1956, and the county seat moved in 1966. Thus, Powhatan went from a prosperous bustling city to a quiet existance which feels like a ghost town.

    Powhatan Courthouse State Park was established in 1974 to preserve some of the notable old buildings that remain. Visitors may take self-guided or guided tours of the courthouse, jail, telephone exchange building, Ficklin-Imboden Log House and Powhatan Male & Female Academy. lnterpretative displays on the grounds help tell the story of Powhatan.

    Hours:
    Tuesday - Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Sunday: 1 p.m. -5 p.m.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    The Old Well

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 26, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Old Well at Powhatan
    1 more image

    Across a handicapped parking pad from the Powhatan Telephone Exchange building you will find what is left of an old well. This single hand-dug well, on main street in the business district of the town, once served as the only source of potable water for the town of Powhatan. It is believed that the well may also have been the source of infectious diseases.

    In America we take such everyday blessings as clean running water so for granted today. Wells such as this serve as a reminder of some of the hardships suffered by our pioneer ancestors.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    The Old Plank Road

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 25, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Site of the Old Plank Road
    1 more image

    In the old Powhatan town site, between the Ficklin-Imboden House and the Telephone Exchange Building, is the site of the Old Plank Road.

    In 1803, when this area was a part of the Louisiana Purchase, the only roads were unpaved trails which sometimes became impassable mudholes. At this site, the Old Plank Road was built in 1853 as the first improved road in northeastern Arkansas. It was three miles long, made with timber and covered with dirt.

    The Old Plank Road connected the steamboat landing at Powhatan with the "Military Road" where U.S. 63 runs today, carrying traffic southwesterly from St. Louis, Missouri. The planks washed away in the flood of 1915, never to be replaced.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    The Telephone Exchange Building

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 25, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Telephone Exchange Building
    1 more image

    The only commercial building which survives in the original Powhatan town site is the Telephone Exchange Building. It is a Victorian Panel Brick structure, built in 1887, and located in what was once the center of the thriving riverport town.

    In the late 1800s the building was the nerve center for telephone service - a new technology at the time - in much of Lawrence County. Over the years, the building has also seen service as an apothecary (drug store), wagon factory, attorney's office, general store, private residence and the Powhatan Post Office.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Powhatan Jail

    by Stephen-KarenConn Written Nov 25, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Powhatan Jail
    1 more image

    A paved walkway from the Powhatan Courthouse leads a short distance downhill to the old jail. The jail was built of native limestone in 1873, shortly after construction of the first courthouse.

    The jail became obsolete and was abandoned in the 1940s. For a period of time the building was used as a canning kitchen. The jail was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and restored as a part of the Powhatan State Historic Park in 1990.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Powhatan Courthouse

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 25, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Powhatan Courtroom
    3 more images

    The Powhatan Courthouse is the centerpiece of both the town of Powhatan and the state park. The first courthouse was built here in 1873, but burned in 1885. The current two-story courthouse was constructed on the same foundation with locally manufactured brick and was completed in 1888.

    In 1863, voters decided to consolidate Powhatan with the county seat in Walnut Ridge and by 1966 the Powhatan courthouse stood empty. Shortly thereafter the old courthouse was restored and the Powhatan Courthouse State Park was established to preserve it.

    Today the courthouse is a museum and also houses a visitor center and a small gift shop. Exhibits in the resored courthouse illustrate the early history of Lawrence County and also the history of Powhatan, including an exhibit of the shelling and pearling industry.

    I especially enjoyed seeing the old courtroom, which looks much as it did 100 years ago.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Powhatan

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

108 travelers online now

Comments

Powhatan Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Powhatan things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Powhatan sightseeing.

View all Powhatan hotels