This is the oldest structure still standing in Little Rock
BIll Worthen is the director of the Historic Arkansas Museum.
The museum includes a large collection of weapons.
The home of Jesse Hinderliter dates back to 1827, and it's the oldest building still standing in Little Rock.
It was also one of the new city's first bar's - drinks served up front - the family's formal dining room in the back. It is only one of the historic structures on the grounds of the Historic Arkansas Museum.
"When you put these things on display people see them and respond to them, and look at Arkansas in a little different way. They say hey, I didn't know that about Arkansas," says Bill Worthen, who is the director of the Historic Arkansas Museum, a place that pays tribute to the pioneers of early Arkansas, and now the Native Americans of the territory.
Worthen explains, "We weren't telling the story of the folks who were already here, and that was primarily the Caddo, the Quapaw and the Osage Indians. And so we worked with those three tribes and elders in those three tribes and we had to borrow items from them, we had to borrow items from the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., the National Museum of the American Indian, in order to really tell the story the way we wanted to. This part of out story is an important one."
And what would the early days of statehood be without weapons.
The prize is perhaps an ornate rifle that once belonged to James Conway, Arkansas' first governor.
Adornments include 24 tiny gold stars inlaid at the barrels tip, and a working compass in the weapon's stock. Art is another emphasis for the museum.
Worthen says, "We're the only state agency that is really systematically documenting and collecting this creative legacy. It's photography, it's art, it's pottery, it's all those things, cabinet making. It's all those things that people needed to have in some ways in that early period."
Currently on display are postcards that capture the early buildings around the state, from Eureka Springs to Fayetteville, to an ostrich farm.
The museum also features authentic rural structures relocated to the museum grounds.
Worthen continues, "Ninety percent of the people were involved in agricultural pursuits back in the pre-civil war period. And so we were able to bring in our log house from Scott, Arkansas and some other out buildings from other places in the state to provide a farmstead."
Visit the Historic Arkansas Museum in downtown Little Rock. It's another place you'll be Amazed By Arkansas.