In 1906, the Immaculate Conception Church of Fort Smith was established at the west side of North 13th Street. On Tuesday (May 29), the city granted special recognition to the site as well as 11 other locations throughout the downtown Fort Smith area through the installation of 12 historical plaques that feature a uniquely modern touch.
Griffin Properties of Fort Smith, in coordination with the Central Business Improvement District (CBID) and a host of private donors, hosted the installation ceremony and ribbon cutting, which featured speakers Rick Griffin and Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders.
Each plaque presents a scannable bar code medallion for smartphone users, who want to learn more about the specific site locations. Once the medallion has been scanned, the device will pull up a web page hosting a short video that gives additional history on the location.
Research materials for the 12 plaques were provided by Joe Wasson of the Fort Smith Historical Society.
In addition to the Immaculate Conception Church plaque, the monuments may be viewed at the following downtown Fort Smith locations:
• Texas Corner in 1958: north side of Garrison Ave., across from the U.S. Post Office
• The New Theatre in 1911: 1004 1/2 Garrison Ave.
• Great Cyclone at Fort Smith: 921 Garrison Ave.
• First National Bank of Fort Smith: 521 Garrison Ave.
• W.J. Murphy—Eads Brothers Building in 1903: Garrison Ave., between south 4th and 5th Streets
• The Phoenix Block: 516 Garrison Ave.
• The Fishback Block in 1872: 407 Garrison Ave.
• Marble Hall in 1863: 318 Garrison Ave.
• Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves: Ross Pendergraft Park at Garrison and South 2nd St.
• John Rogers, Founder of City of Fort Smith: east side of North 2nd St.
• North 2nd St., 1860: north side of Garrison Ave., at the intersection of North 2nd St. and Garrison