FORT SMITH, AR--(Marketwire - Feb 28, 2013) - True West magazine recently ranked Fort Smith #1 in its 2013 list of True Western Towns.
True West writes that the award is "given to towns that have made an important contribution to preserving their Old West heritage. Thanks to the largely unpaid and often anonymous army of preservationists and historical society members who identify, maintain and restore the buildings and artifacts of those days, we -- as well as our children and grandchildren -- have the chance to marvel at these irreplaceable relics where so much of our fabled history took place."
Fort Smith captured the top spot based on its extensive application detailing the town's landmarks, restoration efforts, history, events, contributions to western heritage and more. Claude Legris, Executive Director of the Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion Commission, credits the town's people and organizations for the success.
"Our community has always placed a high priority on preserving our colorful past and making sure that appreciation is passed on to future generations," says Legris. "We have 'branded' Fort Smith with our frontier heritage since the Convention and Visitors Bureau was established two decades ago. It's a 'natural' brand for Fort Smith because it's who and what we are."
Fort Smith's historic western attractions include the Fort Smith National Historic Site which features Judge Isaac Parker's federal courthouse and replica gallows, the Fort Chaffee Historic District, and the future site of the U.S. Marshals Museum, as well as a bronze statue honoring Bass Reeves, one of the first black Deputy U.S. Marshals and real Western hero. The town's "Miss Laura's" Visitor Center is housed in a restored former bordello and the Fort Smith Museum of History is located in the Atkinson-Williams Warehouse Building, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can also ride the downtown Fort Smith trolley or the scenic Arkansas Missouri Railroad.
True West has been publishing stories about history, travel and tourism in the Old West since 1953, and 2013 marks the eighth year of its True Western Towns list. This year's list is found in the February 2013 issue.
Visitors wanting to experience this True Western Town can visit the Fort Smith CVB website for vacation planning information.