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April 7, 2010 / dcwisdom

Historic Washington in the Afternoon

 Recently,  Queen Mother, Kid #5 Mary, and I visited one of the loveliest state parks in Arkansas, Historic Washington, a museum village.  It’s just up the road from Hope where both Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee claimed residency years ago. 

Historic Washington State Park, Arkansas


 The park focuses on Washington’s history from 1824 to 1889.  The Southwest Trail/Old Military Road, which passes through the center of town, was a major artery for pioneers traveling to Texas in the 1820s and 30s. 

1874 Courthouse


Until 2006 when the name was changed to “Historic Washington,” the park was known as Old Washington.  The park only covers about one  square mile and has absolutely no modern businesses or building structures.  No Wal-Mart, no convenience stores or gas stations.  Just plain and simple style.  Nice. 

Inside the Historic Washington Court House

So stately.  The court-house museum houses information about the Choctaw Nation and the Trail of Tears and period history of Freemasonry.  The gift shop sells books and booklets of Civil War interests, cast iron dutch ovens and skillets, bonnets,  period cookbooks, knives, and a range of mid-century items. 

The Trimble House 1847

Split-rail fence

Notice there are no vertical posts at the intersections of this fence.  The rails are cedar wood.  Cedar does the slow dance over time and gets better with age. 

Girl in flowers

Mary is the model in the bank of daffodils. 

Historic Washington is well-known for its Jonquil festival every spring.  The park presents typical living in the mid-1800s with blacksmiths, candle makers, spinners, soap makers, chuck wagons and open-fire cooking.  

The Presbyterian Church

 I thought the offset entrance door to the church was interesting. 

Presbyterian Church steeple

We couldn’t leave town without visiting the church.  Such a lovely part of southern heritage. 

My grandfather was born near Washington.  His grandparents were part of the Cherokee Nation’s Trail of Tears.  Interesting history in these here parts. 

Arkansas is a beautiful state.  See more state park information at 

Y’all have a beautiful day!


  1. Diana Ferguson / Apr 10 2010 3:55 PM

    Thanks for the tour!!!

  2. nola at alamo north / Apr 8 2010 5:55 AM

    That cedar split rail fence is a work of art! You are right, cedar gets more beautiful with age; I love the silvery color it turns.

  3. tanna / Apr 8 2010 1:43 AM

    Loved the tour, Debbie!! That is right up my alley! I am going to have to put Old Washington on my list of destinations. I love the church… =)

  4. Debbie / Apr 7 2010 11:07 AM

    I could forget about ‘Clinton’ to visit that lovely spot! Such history and lovely architecture. My g-g-grandmother was Cherokee and came from the Carolinas over the Trail of Tears with her family at the age of 5. She is buried outside of Clarksville, Tx near yall. What a sad time in the history of our country; to think that a president could justify that kind of treatment to peaceful, modernized citizens.
    One more blight on our government! Thanks for the tour and the great pictures.

  5. Vickie / Apr 7 2010 10:06 AM

    Kid #5 looks very pretty – reminds me of a famous painting…

    That was really interesting, Gib. Will have to stop and look for myself sometime when we go to Nashville to see #1 son. Never did much like going through Clinton country, tho… ;o)

    Nice pictures – you been working much?

  6. Tara / Apr 7 2010 8:48 AM

    Hey Debbie,
    Thanks for the tour of Historic Washington. Just lovely. Clay and I went there many years ago when it was still called Old Washington. We visited some of these very places. It is like stepping back in time. Very relaxing and beautiful scenery.

  7. Stacey at Living by Faith / Apr 7 2010 8:35 AM

    Those are really pretty pictures. Those staircases…oh, my they are beautiful. They sure don’t make things like they use to. It makes me wonder if my house will still be here in one hundred years. Doubtful.

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