The 1874 Courthouse replaced the 1836 Courthouse as the home of Hempstead County’s government, serving in that capacity until the county seat moved to Hope in 1939. This Italian originate brick building housed the county court upstairs, with various offices and safes downstairs. This building is free to all visitors when open.
This Greek Revival House, originally located west of town on Arkansas Highway 195, was the home of local jeweler, musician, and freemason Augustus Crouch. Crouch had this home built in 1957, and then sold it to his daughter, Elizabeth, in 1874. It was moved to Washington in 1986, on the same site as a similar house that burned in 1903, then later restored with a focus on 19th century building construction and architecture. This building is available regularly on guided tours.
Constructed in 1832, this building was originally located seven miles north of Washington on Arkansas Highway 29. Besides being the home of John W. Williams, it housed a tavern, post office, and stage station. Historic Washington State Park moved the building to Washington in 1985 and renovated the building into a restaurant similar to its tavern past. Serves meals daily from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
This reconstruction of a building that sat on this very spot currently houses the city of Washington’s government. This building is not affiliated with Historic Washington State Park; it is usually closed to visitors.
This Greek Revival house belonged to a local physician, Dr. A.L. Purdom, and is an exhibit of 19th century medicine. Born in Jonesboro, Tennessee in 1819, James Alexander Lafayette Purdom grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1845, Purdom moved to Washington, five years after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. A member of the Episcopal Church and Mt. Horeb Lodge, Purdom enlisted in the Confederate Army as a surgeon with the First Arkansas Cavalry before illness cut his service short in 1863. He passed away in 1866. The building was renovated in 1978 by Historic Washington State Park. This building is available regularly on guided tours
This magnolia was planted around 1845. It is not on the National Historic Register but it is associated with Grandison Royston in the same way as the magnolia at the Royston Law Office site.
The big Greek Revival house at the top of the hill was the town residence of Grandison D. Royston, a well-respected lawyer who also owned a plantation several miles north of town on the Southwest Trail. Easily identified by its colorful “four seasons” sidelights and large center hallway, the Royston Town House is mostly decorated to represent the styles of 1840-1860. Besides an attorney, Royston was an experienced statesman, serving as the first state representative for Hempstead County and Speaker of the House. He also served one term in the Confederate Congress. He was also a delegate for two Arkansas constitutional conventions: the 1836 convention for the first constitution at statehood, and the 1874 convention that exists to this day. Royston also served as a soldier in the Mexican-American War. This house is available regularly on guided tours
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This Greek Revival house is decorated to represent the period after the Civil War. It was home for Simon T. Sanders, a man so well respected he served as County Clerk with very little opposition for thirty years. The house is surrounded by an urban farmstead, as seen with a kitchen in back, vinery in front, a barn, and space for horses and poultry. This house is available regularly on guided tours
This Carpenter Gothic structure was built in 1889, replacing a previous church destroyed in a fire. It was nearly destroyed itself in the 1907 tornado when it was knocked off its foundation and into the street. Citizens used a mule team to pull the church back in its place. The congregation met as late as the 1980s, when they chose to integrate with the church in Hope. The building was donated to the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation, who open the building during special events. This building is owned by the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation; it is not open to regular guided tours but is occasionally open during special events or rentals.
A founding member of the Pioneer Washington Restoration, B.W. Edwards was an avid weapons collector who would donate his massive collection to the Foundation. Comprised of a wide range of muzzleloaders, rifles, handguns, revolvers, and knives, Edward’s collection of over 7,000 different weapons makes up most of the museum’s collection. This building is available on guided tours.
Washington was home to the Washington Telegraph, the second-oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi River (behind only the Arkansas Gazette). The Washington Print Museum is dedicated to printing methods and equipment from the 19th and early 20th century and offers daily demonstrations. This building is available on guided tours.
The location of W.D. Green’s “old, dilapidated storehouse,” where a fire started on the night of July 3rd, 1875. An alarm was sounded around 3 a.m., but by sunlight the fire had spread eastward through 4½ blocks of Washington’s business district. Almost two dozen businesses were affected, reaching the next two blocks and two stores on Block 6 before stopping short of the 1836 Courthouse.
A large wood building that housed W.P. Hart’s drug store. Hart was also a practicing physician, and he opened his office to several young men who were learning medicine, including Alexander L. Purdom and Samuel M. Carrigan. It was also the starting point of the 1883 fire that destroyed ten businesses and caused $50,000 worth of damage. Coupled with Hope’s rapid growth as a railroad town, the fire was the start of many businesses relocating to Hope, beginning Washington’s decline as the county’s business center.
This modern building originally housed a pottery shop with a kiln in back; it was later converted for candle-making demonstrations. The building is also a small gift shop, located relatively halfway for most guided tours. This building is free to the public when open.
This three-story Hotel Black, sometimes called the Black Hotel, was located on Franklin Street right next to the present-day Candle Shop. The concrete steps to the building still exist along the sidewalk, which serves as an informal entrance to a picnic area.
One of the oldest Federal-style buildings standing in Arkansas, the 1836 Courthouse was the first proper courthouse in Hempstead County. It hosted one of the founding members of the Arkansas Grand Lodge, Mt. Horeb Lodge No. 4. In 1864, the county courthouse housed a special session of the Confederate General Assembly, following the government’s flight from Little Rock. After county business moved to the new 1874 Courthouse, the structure served as a schoolhouse for the next 40 years. In 1929, an effort was made to preserve the structure as a historic site, as it is today. This building is available on guided tours.
This loblolly pine tree, located next to the 1836 Courthouse, orbited the moon aboard Apollo 14 as a seed.
This site is where Dr. Isaac Newton Jones had his town residence. Its where famed blacksmith James Black lived while under his guardianship, as well as his son Daniel Webster Jones.
This tree is certified as one of the largest magnolias in Arkansas. The tree was planted in 1839, near Grandison Royston’s law office.
This saddlebag log cabin was built for the foreman of Grandison Royston’s plantation located up the Southwest Trail from Washington. It was moved to town in 1986, and currently demonstrates frontier life. This house is available regularly on guided tours
One of the few Federal-style structures remaining in Arkansas, it was built in 1832 by the first documented Jewish settler in Arkansas. A successful store owner, he This house is available regularly on guided tours
A 1960 recreation of the blacksmith shop belonging to James Black, who forged Jim Bowie’s famous knife. The original building sat closer to the Southwest Trail (represented by a monument down the hill); the recreation was built in a more accessible location. This building is available on guided tours.
This building is available to registered guests only. Built in 1914, it replaced the 1836 Courthouse as the town’s school building. The more modern two-story brick structure four classrooms and an auditorium on the second floor. It was built on the former site of John Eakin’s residence and overlooked the valley where the railroad passed by Washington. In the late 1930s, as it looked more and more like the county seat would move to Hope, the school district decided not to have the Works Progress Administration build a gym next to the schoolhouse, but behind the 1874 Courthouse where the school would relocate after the county offices were vacated. When Historic Washington State Park was established in 1973, the building served as the park’s offices and Visitor Information Center. After the VIC moved to the 1874 Courthouse, the schoolhouse was renovated and is now a single-day and overnight group rental facility with beds, conference rooms, and an auditorium.
Under pressure from non-native landowners, Congress passed The Indian Removal Act of 1830, which authorized the forced removal of the Five Civilized Tribes from their lands: the Choctaw and Chickasaw from Mississippi, the Muscogee (Creek) and Cherokee from Alabama and Georgia, and the Seminole from Florida. This legislation required over 60,000 people to uproot and resettle in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). While steamboats and wagons were used to transport people and possessions, many traveled on foot for hundreds of miles. Tens of thousands are believed to have died, mostly from diseases contracted along the journey. The name “Trail of Tears” is believed to have come from a leader of the Choctaw, the first tribe to move, who said it was a “trail of tears and death.” Coming from Mississippi, they crossed into southern Arkansas, and some of their routes took them through Hempstead County. Newspaper accounts tell of Choctaw groups passing though Washington on the Southwest Trail daily. The Chickasaw followed similar paths through Hempstead County. Most of the relocation was completed by 1840.
This house is owned by the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation and is currently undergoing renovation.
This house is owned by the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation and is currently closed to tours
Originally built in 1855 for the overseer of a local sawmill, the Greek Revival home is more connected with the Monroe family, who ran a local abstract company. This house is currently closed to tours
Dr. Robert A. Brunson’s town house, which finished construction right at the start of the Civil War. Originally built in Columbus near the intersection of Arkansas Highway 73 and Hempstead County Road 35, it was relocated to Washington in 1985. Its Italianate trim and front porch were restored in 2017, and the building currently serves as a special events rental center. This house is available to registered guests only.
Located just outside the plotted block of Washington, this Greek Revival house sat on the current site of the Brunson House until it was demolished around 1950. It belonged to Bernard F. Hempstead, a lawyer and politician who cofounded the local Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge. Hempstead owned up to 260 acres by 1860, when it’s believed the house was built.