Van Buren Walking Tour Journey

Discover the charm of historic Van Buren, Arkansas.

Van Buren Walking Tour Journey

Van Buren, Arkansas 72956, United States

Created By: Van Buren

Tour Information

Uncover the rich tapestry of Van Buren's past as you stroll through picturesque streets and iconic landmarks. Immerse yourself in captivating stories, fascinating anecdotes, and local legends narrated by knowledgeable guides. Explore at your own pace, enjoy curated tours, and unlock a deeper connection to the city's heritage.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

When the first train chugged into Van Buren, June 24, 1876, it signaled the beginning of a new era for this growing river town. By 1882, the city was linked with St. Louis, “in the iron bands of free and uninterrupted commerce.” Reflect... Read more
H. C. Pemot, proprietor, opened his store in 1895, offering some finer items to discriminating clientele. Queenswear was an expensive Burmese glassware made of opaque glass in shades of yellow to pink, available in both glossy or satin fini... Read more
From brothel to meeting hall to the magic of the airwaves, this 1895 three-story brick building has served Van Buren and its citizens in many different ways. In its early years, “ladies of the evening” held rendezvous on the third floor... Read more
From fresh-baked goods and grocery items in this store originally run by Tom Edmondson and his partner, Fredrick Britt, this circa 1895 building was home to a variety of ventures in later years. County records indicate business “flourishe... Read more
The St. Louis brewery’s bubbles made for brisk business in old Van Buren -- $8,000 worth in 1897! The company’s famous “A and Eagle” trademark still caps the facade of this circa 1892 building. Two large copper scuppers and drain pi... Read more
First class appointments, like marble mantles and lavatories, waterworks and electric lights were the marvel of Van Buren’s first bank, built in 1889. Maybe such plush surroundings are why the ghost of the bank’s first President is rumo... Read more
Those were the days! Steak sold for 35 cents a pound, sides of beef and pork hung for display within the store’s huge arched setback, and a whirling ceiling fan stirred the air, keeping the flies at bay. The Merrill brothers must have enj... Read more
Stationery and books, musical instruments plus wallpaper and tobacco products were among this circa 1895 store’s varied offerings. Owned by Norway immigrant C.K. Ingeberg, the building’s original cast-iron columns are an integral part o... Read more
Productions are still staged in this opulent opera house. Built in 1891 as three separate commercial spaces, it was purchased and remodeled into a theater at the tum of the century by H.P. King. Jenny Lind and William Jennings Bryant were a... Read more
In 1877, arsonists virtually destroyed the 1842 Italianate-styled courthouse. Before it was rebuilt from the remaining brick walls, it became the center of a feud between the citizens of Van Buren and Alma -- the latter wanting the county s... Read more
This fascinating mural history, painted by Van Buren High School art students on the back of the seawall, presents a colorful portrayal of the historic events that shaped the town and county.
In 1909 the lot at 13th and Cherry was purchased. A dwelling on the property served as a temporary church from 1909 to 1912. Construction of the church began in 1912. The cornerstone was laid on October 22, 1912 and the church was dedicated... Read more
Overlooking the Arkansas River, the commanding Drennen-Scott House, initially the home of the Revolutionary War descendant, John Drennen and his family, is now a “working laboratory” for University of Arkansas Fort Smith students as the... Read more
Public gathering spot with two pavilions for the farmers market or other activities, a stage for events, an interactive water feature designed for children to play and cool down during the hot and summer days, and beautiful green space. The... Read more
Veteran's Memorial Plaza consists of the 5 branches of service seals along with an emergency responder seal. 5 branches of service flags, American flag and the POW/MIA flag. Two pools of water found on the upper flag platform flow down sepa... Read more


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