April Was A Busy Month For the Gallows At Fort Smith National Historic Site

Western justice -- the kind delivered with a short rope and a long drop -- will be a frequent topic for discussion this month at Fort Smith National Historic Site, which preserves the site where more than a few hangings were carried out in the late 1800s.

Special Event at Fort Smith NHS Features Deputy U.S. Marshals, Light Horsemen and True Grit

Deputy Mashals in 1892
A special event at Fort Smith National Historic Site on April 10 will offer the chance to interact with historical characters portraying U.S. Deputy Marshals and Chickasaw Light Horsemen. Tours of the jails, the gallows and Judge Parker's courtroom plus a photo op with a reproduction 1890 jail wagon will be followed by an outdoor screening of the movie True Grit.

Whoa! Did I Read That Right? Double-Take Posts of 2009

Finicky bears, addled boaters, a cannon that was, a cannonball that wasn’t. In 2009, these and other outside-the-box stories reminded us that you just never know what you’re going to run into – or what might run into you -- in America’s national parks.

National Park Mystery Photo 9 Revealed: Reviewing Stand? Hardly!

He was known, quite appropriately, as the "hanging judge." During his 21 years at Fort Smith, Judge Isaac C. Parker sent 160 men to the gallows, a replica of which this Mystery Photo depicts.

What Not to Do with an Old Cannonball

old cannonball
On the morning of April 21, 2009, a local homeowner arrived at the visitor center at Fort Smith National Historic Site in Arkansas with the best of intentions but the worst of plans—he was carrying an old cannonball he'd dug up in his garden.