Historic Washington, Arkansas's premier 19th-century village, is conserved and interpreted by Arkansas State Parks in conjunction with the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation.
From its establishment in 1824, Washington was an important stop on the rugged Southwest Trail for pioneers traveling to Texas. James Bowie, Sam Houston and Davy Crockett traveled through Washington. James Black, a local blacksmith, is credited with creating the legendary Bowie knife here. Later, the town became a major service center for area planters, merchants and professionals. Washington was the Confederate Capital of Arkansas from 1863-1865.
Established in 1973, the state park interprets Washington from 1800-1900. The 1874 Courthouse serves as the park visitor center. Visitors can also see the 1836 Courthouse, Blacksmith Shop, Weapons Museum, several residences and other historic structures on guided tours. Buildings open for touring vary each day. Lunch featuring delicious, Southern country fare is served daily in the 1832 Williams Tavern Restaurant.
Group rental facilities at Historic Washington include the 1914 Schoolhouse featuring meeting rooms, an auditorium, overnight accommodations (maximum capacity: 54 in bunk beds) and a catering kitchen, and the WPA Gymnasium with kitchen.