Weekend Destination: Historic Washington State Park

Zoie Clift
Vivid reenactments of the Civil War will be presented during Historic Washington State Park’s Civil War Weekend this weekend (November 5-6) in Washington, Arkansas.

Washington, Arkansas was a hotbed of Southern sympathizers and a major center of commerce in southwest Arkansas during the Civil War. Notable generals and lawmakers came from Washington, and the town’s 1836 courthouse served as the Confederate capitol of the state in the last years of the Civil War.

During Civil War Weekend, over 500 reenactors and park staff portray a town in the clutches of battle. One of the largest battle reenactments in southwest Arkansas takes place at 2 on Saturday and again at 1 on Sunday.

Included in Saturday’s schedule is a Civil War skirmish and cavalry drill. Opportunities to observe civilian, infantry, and cavalry encampments, tavern life, medicine shows and period fashion programs are available throughout the day. 

Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children and cover all activities including the battle reenactment. There is no parking fee. Tickets are available at the 1874 courthouse or the candle shop.

The park will be open each day from 9-5 and Williams Tavern Restaurant will be open from 11-3.The park is located on US 278 nine miles north of Hope and can be reached by taking Exit 30 off Interstate 30. 

In 1973 Old Washington Historic State Park was created and today the town is one of America’s premier historic villages. The town is both a state park and town intermingled. The town is a National Register of Historic Places site and an Arkansas State Park . The park was renamed Historic Washington State Park in 2006 and includes over thirty carefully restored historic structures that serve as a continuing legacy to life in the town from 1824 to 1889. The town is home to the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives and is around 10 miles from Hope and about 40 miles from Crater of Diamonds State Park. For more information visit www.historicwashingtonstatepark.com or call 870-983-2684.
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