John D Trimble House

Built in 1847 this house remained in the Trimble family until 1978 when it was donated to the State Park. The furnishings amassed by the family over the generations have been retained and are on display.

Old Washington State Historical Park

To the north of Hope, the birthplace of Bill Clinton, you come to Old Washington. You could be forgiven for thinking that you are in an open air museum, but most of it is a real town that time forgot. Established in 1824 it grew into a thriving community until in 1874 it was bypassed by the railroad. The resultant declined ensured that its buildings escaped from being torn down and replaced by modern ones. Old Washington is preserved as a State Historic Park and is a National Historical Landmark. Some buildings have been moved from other nearby sites to replace lost buildings but much of the town is original.


Presbyterian Church, Old Washington State Park, AR, USA

Presbyterian Church

Owned by the Church rather than State Park, this timber church is constructed in the Carpenter-Gothic architectural style. It was built in 1889 after its predecessor was destroyed by fire. There are two other churches in the town, an 1861 Methodist Church in the Greek Revival style and a Baptist Church. The original Baptist Church  dating from before the Civil War was destroyed by a tornado in 1946 but in 1987 a reconstruction was completed. All three churches are still used for services.

 Hempstead County Courthouse, Old Washington State Park, AR, USA
 Tavern Inn Museum (1960), Old Washington State Park, AR, USA
 John D Trimble House, Old Washington State Park, AR, USA

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Tavern Inn Museum

This is  one of the few major buildings that is a modern reconstruction.  The Tavern Inn was built in 1960 by the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation to represent a nineteenth century inn. The building is used as a museum. Nearby the Williams' Tavern is a genuine 1832 former stagecoach stop that was originally located 11 kilometres (7 miles) from the town. It is used as a restaurant and there we had an excellent meal at a price that seemed to have come from Old Washington’s heyday.

Hempstead County Courthouse

Built in 1874 the county courthouse lies at the centre of Old Washington State Historic Park and is now its Visitor Center. It is a reminder that Washington, as it was then known, was the county seat until 1939 when Hope took over that role. The 1874 courthouse replaced one built in 1836 that still stands in the town. The town had  great significance during the Civil War as after the Union army captured Little Rock in 1863 the Confederates made Washington their capital of Arkansas, and the 1836 courthouse acted as their capitol building between 1863 and 1865.

- The magnificent Presbyterian Church
- Old Washington is small and hence does not justify a long detour from your route
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