Sign up Now for Red River Heritage Symposium

(WASHINGTON, Ark.) – The 16th Annual Red River Heritage Symposium will take place on Saturday, July 23, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Historic Washington State Park. The conference theme is “Communities That Bind Us Together” and topics will focus on the impact of different communities and their formations in the Great Bend Region of the Red River. The project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Specific topics and speakers include: “History of Claiborne Parish, Louisiana” by Wesley Harris, historian at Claiborne Parish Library, Homer, Louisiana; “History of Fort Towson, Oklahoma” by Calista Stephens of Fort Towson Historic Site; “Slaves to Christ: Methodist Missions to the Enslaved Community” by Josh Williams of Historic Washington State Park; “The Caddo Culture of the Red River” by Dr. Andrew Beaupre of the Arkansas Archeological Survey; and “Examples of the Robert Walz Photo Collection of Southwest Arkansas” by Melissa Nesbitt of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives.

An all-day Friday and Saturday workshop for teachers on resources related to the theme in the Red River Region will take place on July 22-23 beginning at 9 a.m. Lunch is included both days. A total of 12 credit hours will be available for teachers to earn by attending both days of the workshop and symposium. Cost for attending the workshop is $40. Workshop presenters will include staff from Historic Washington State Park, Arkansas State Archives, and the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Sessions will incorporate community history topics into curriculum standards for the classroom.

Cost for attendance to the symposium is $30, which includes an evening meal. A discount price of $60 will be offered to teachers who wish to attend both the workshop and symposium. Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. at the 1874 Hempstead County Courthouse Visitor Center at Historic Washington State Park. Registration must be made by July 21; contact 870-983-2684 to register.

Historic Washington State Park

Historic Washington State Park, located in Washington, Arkansas, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Mondays. The park is a restoration village interpreting the historic Arkansas town in the 19th century. Daily tours are provided to over 15 historic sites and museums, such as the B.W. Edwards Weapons Museum and Blacksmith Shop. To learn more visit or call 870-983-2684

Arkansas State Parks

Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. Arkansas state parks and museums cover 54,400 acres of forest, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation facilities, and unique historic and cultural resources. Established in 1923, Arkansas State Parks preserve special places for future generations, provide quality recreation and education opportunities, enhance the state’s economy through tourism and provide leadership in resource conservation. Connect with ASP on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and visit and to learn more. 

Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism

The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism protects and promotes our state’s natural, cultural and historic assets, contributing to a thriving economy and high quality of life. It is made up of three divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Stacy Hurst serves as the cabinet secretary for the department.

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