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Take a walk through the past at Historic Washington State Park

Established in 1824, visitors can now stop by to sleep and eat at the Bed and Breakfast that used to house inmates.

WASHINGTON, ARKANSAS, Ark. — Visiting Historic Washington State Park is like walking into the past. 

The town of Washington, located just outside of what is now known as the city of Hope, was an important stop on the rugged Southwest Trail. 

Since Washington’s establishment in 1824, travelers would stop to eat, shop, and rest on their journeys to and from Texas.

The legendary Bowie knife was first crafted by local blacksmith James Black under the direction of James Bowie. 

Today, visitors can watch as a blacksmith crafts metals into amazing creations. Many of those creations are available in the gift shop located in the Visitor Center, which once served as the 1874 Washington Courthouse.

The 1832 Williams Tavern Restaurant serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sunday. As soon as you walk through the restaurant door, make sure to look at the pictures of this original homestead now turned lunch spot.

For those wanting to extend their visits at Historic Washington State Park, book a stay at the local Bed and Breakfast. 

Inmates once slept in this building when it was known as the city jail. Now, it’s a comfy place to rest your head and enjoy a home cooked breakfast. 

The Jail Bed and Breakfast is located behind one of the oldest Methodist churches in the area that still congregates today.

Every building, and even some magnify that trees, hold historical significance in Historic Washington.