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Fort Smith in Sebastian County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

A Building Worth Saving

Fort Smith National Historic Site

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
A Building Worth Saving Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2015
1. A Building Worth Saving Marker
Inscription.  The Commissary, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, is the oldest building in Fort Smith. Its foundation was originally a raised platform from which to shoot cannons for defending the fort. The two-story building you see today was built on that foundation by the military in 1846 for food storage.

Over the years, the building has served many purposes including a barracks for troops, federal court offices, a private residence, and the city's first museum of history. Today the Commissary stands as a testament of the public's dedication to preserving history.

The Commissary would have been demolished in 1909 had a local group of women not intervened. They successfully persuaded city leaders and citizens to rescue the building.

Is there a building in your community worth saving?
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Forts or Castles.
 
Location. 35° 23.374′ N, 94° 25.785′ W. Marker is in Fort Smith, Arkansas
Marker detail: Officers Headquarters, built 1840 image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Officers Headquarters, built 1840
, in Sebastian County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Garrison Avenue (U.S. 64) and North 2nd Street, on the left when traveling west. Marker is located on the Fort Smith National Historic Site grounds, overlooking the former commissary building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Garrison Avenue, Fort Smith AR 72901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Frisco Train Depot (here, next to this marker); Old Commissary (within shouting distance of this marker); The Parade Grounds (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bastion That Never Was (within shouting distance of this marker); The Guardhouse, 1849-1871 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Women’s Jail, 1872-1888 (within shouting distance of this marker); Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Officer’s Garden (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Smith.
 
Also see . . .
1. Commissary: Old Fort Museum. At the end of the 19th century the Commissary was sold to a private owner. In 1910, a ladies' group acted to save the Commissary as a place to preserve the community's heritage. The Old Commissary Museum (later known as the Old Fort Museum) occupied the building for nearly 70 years, longer than either the army or the federal court. (Submitted on September 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Commissary.
Marker detail: 19th Century Changes image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: 19th Century Changes
In 1845 Quartermaster General Thomas Jesup inspected Fort Smith and ordered the wall bastion be converted into a commissary depot. General Jesup’s intervention led to Fort Smith’s continued growth by shifting the mission of the post from defense to supply. Over the years the Commissary's appearance and use changed dramatically. The building held supplies used by explorers and soldiers, played a crucial role in two wars, and the second floor served as an office for Federal Judge Isaac C. Parker. (Submitted on September 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
A Building Worth Saving Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2015
4. A Building Worth Saving Marker
(Old Commissary building in background)
Old Fort Smith Commissary (<i>southwest elevation</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2015
5. Old Fort Smith Commissary (southwest elevation)
Old Fort Smith Commissary image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2015
6. Old Fort Smith Commissary
(view from marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Oct. 23, 2020