52 Weeks of Fun

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, Fort Smith CVB

Clayton House


Standing regally in the Belle Grove Historic District, the Clayton House serves as a living history book of Fort Smith’s elegant Victorian period during the city’s frontier beginnings on the border of Indian Territory. The Italianate-style mansion also provides a perfect setting for weddings and private gatherings with its stately parlors and expansive grounds.

The Clayton House provides a step back to 1882, the year William Henry Harrison Clayton moved his family into the antebellum home that he doubled in size and shaped into an Italianate-style masterpiece. It has elaborate Victorian trim, including detailed window surrounds, paneled projecting bays on the front and side, a porch with carved columns and brackets, and delicately turned balusters ringing the porch roof. W. H. H. Clayton served as a local prosecutor and was a member of a family prominent in state politics and is one of the few high-quality houses of the period to survive. It now serves as a museum.

Coal-burning fireplaces and period furnishings in each room place you in a time that featured no indoor plumbing or electricity, but that was rich with austerity. The guided tour provides a perspective of the mission to bring law and justice to the area from the home of the chief prosecutor of the famous court of Judge Isaac C. Parker.

The Clayton House is maintained and operated by the nonprofit Fort Smith Heritage Foundation, which led its restoration after saving the home from demolition in 1969. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Clayton House

Paranormal investigators are said to have found some hard evidence that supports the claims of hauntings reported by docents, repairmen, visitors, and tour participants.

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  • Clayton House
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