Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park
I’ll just say this right off. Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park is now at the top of my favorite historical sites in Arkansas. A few weeks ago when I was in southeast Arkansas, I took a little side trip to this incredible spot.
That bucket list you have? Go ahead and add this park to it.
It’s located not too far from Brinkley, Arkansas.
Don’t Know Much About History…
My intro to American history came about via Keiser Elementary. You remember how that went down? We memorized a few facts about the Boston Tea Party and—boom—through the magic of history book time travel, we were on to the Battle of Gettysburg after a few brief paragraphs regarding the Louisiana Territory.
We skimmed through a plethora of battles and memorized the names of the U.S. presidents (many named John or James). There were oh-so-many dates to know! History, for the most part, lay flat on the page for me.
Insert the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher…
There was one exception. (Technically two.) American Indians and early explorers of the New World. I found those brave souls to be incredibly intriguing, their way of life and community, the way they set out for parts unknown across seas and wilderness.
So what does this have to do with Arkansas and the Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park?
The Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park is located at the unassuming junction of Lee, Monroe, and Phillips County in southeast Arkansas.
What’s the significance?
The starting survey point for the Louisiana Purchase territory just happens to be located in a swamp inside this park.
This quiet, natural spot, only a few miles from the Mississippi River, served as the doorway to the American West. Only after THIS point was established could western land grants be issued, prospector claims be made, towns be platted.
Let that sink in.Continue Reading