The Friends of the Fort will present a walking tour through the area of the Fort Smith National Historic Site once known as Coke Hill at 2pm on Sunday, May 6.


Using photographs, stories from actual Coke Hill residents and printed histories, tour guides will recreate life as it was lived on the piece of land once known as “the Choctaw Strip” before the city of Fort Smith took over the area and it became part of the Fort Smith National Historic Site.


Families lived outside city restrictions and without the expense or benefits of organized government on the Choctaw Strip from the time the fort at Belle Pointe was abandoned until the 1960’s. Many attempts were made to remove the ‘squatters’ and destroy their simple homes where they existed without running water or electricity, but the residents resisted and held their homesteads for generations.


What drew families to the area? How did they really live, and why were they so willing to fight to keep a small bit of land, and who wanted them gone? Explore the myth and the reality of this historic piece of Fort Smith in “A Walking Tour Through History: Coke Hill Revisited.”


The tours begin at 2pm Sunday, May 6 on the grounds of the Fort Smith National Historic Site. A $5 donation per adult, or $2 for children 12 to 16 years of age will guarantee guests a place on the tour, and donations will be used to fund future programs at the Historic Site. For more information, please email friendsofthefort@gmail.com, or call our president, Floyd Robison, at 479/8319274.