The following is a listing of museums within forty miles of downtown Russellville.
I advise calling for hours, since some of the museums are open seasonally and/or have limited hours. Also, museums open and close. Just because you see it listed here doesn't mean it's still in business.
City museum indexes: Fort Smith | Fayetteville | Little Rock | Hot Springs | Jonesboro | Texarkana | Mountain Home | Russellville | Pine Bluff
Altus Heritage House Museum, Altus, 106 N. Franklin, 501-468-1310. Emphasis on local coal mining industry and The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal order which donated the building. Their association publishes a newsletter and a book of biographies of local coal miners. Last visited 10/10/98.
Arkansas River Visitors' Center, Russellville, Old Post Road Park, to call the visitors' center dial the Corps of Engineers at 479-968-5008 and work your way through the automated phone menu. They've got exhibits on local wildlife, geology, archaeology, history and legend, a couple of aquariums holding native fish and turtles, graphics explaining how the lock and dam works, wildlife mounts of indigenous birds, fish and mammals, indian artifacts and so on. Pretty standard stuff, but well-presented. It's in of the Corps of Engineers office building at the Dardanelle Lock and Dam. Last visited 1/28/98.
Conway County Historical Museum, downtown Morrilton in the old railroad depot, Call for hours. Have not visited.
Faulkner County Museum, Conway, next to county courthouse, 501-329-5918. Fairly typical county museum concentrating on the railroad, the Arkansas River navigation system and other matters of local interest. Excellent organized collection of stone tools and points. Model railroad upstairs. Last visited 11/08.
Greathouse Home and Museum, courthouse square, Conway, 501-329-6446 by appointment. Have not been.
Hot Spring County Museum (Boyle House), Malvern, 202 East 3rd Street. 501-394-2912. Museum closed for the time being due to fire in the library next door. Salvaged library materials are being stored in the museum. (RTJ--4/29-98) Last tried to visit 4/29/98.
Lake Dardanelle State Park Aquarium, Freshwater aquarium and highly detailed interactive display highlighting the topology, geogrophy, wildlife and ecology of the Arkansas river. Russellville. (479) 967-5516. Last visited 3/14/04.
Logan County Museum, Paris, 204 N. Vine, 479-963-3936. This restored jail is the site of the last state-sanctioned hanging in Arkansas (It happened back in 1910, or thereabouts). Prisoners were kept in an iron cage upstairs, while the jailer and his family lived downstairs. They've got some interesting exhibits, including a stone with an enigmatic carving for all you puzzle fans. Last visited 7/97.
Museum of Automobiles, Petit Jean State Park, hwy 154, 479-727-5427. Local antique car enthusiasts vie for the honor of having their cars displayed here. Many ultra-fine specimens. One car on display at least until 2000 is Bill Clinton's Mustang. Been There. Official Website.
Museum of Prehistory and History , Russellville, Arkansas Tech University campus, 479-968-0381. Some exhibits are incomplete due to an anticipated move to new quarters. What they have on display are mainly local Indian artifacts and a number of excellent replicas made as research into stone-age manufacturing methods. Be sure to ask questions of their knowledgeable, enthusiastic and well-credentialled staff. There are also some exhibits pertaining to local pioneer heritage. Last visited 5/5/98.
Natural Bridge Museum, 3 miles north of Clinton off highway 65, 870-***-****. They've got a mountain cabin set up with a still and some pioneer artifacts. The museum isn't all that impressive, but it's kind of a bonus when you visit the Natural Bridge attraction. Last visited 4/23/98.
Petit Jean State Park Visitors' Center, Petit Jean State Park, 479-727-5431. They've got exhibits of local flora and fauna you're likely to see, as well as explanations of local cave pictograms and geology. Been there.
Potts' Inn, downtown Pottsville, 479-968-5404. Well-preserved stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route from Memphis to Texarkana, trading post, tavern and post office. Each room is furnished in a historically coherent style. For instance, one room is furnished as a guest room when the building was used as an inn--six beds to a room, two guests to a bed. Highlights of the inn are porcelain and furniture. There are also a number of collections housed in several outbuildings. The Inn itself is great, but the collections housed in the outbuildings are works-in-progress. For instance, there is an extensive collection of ladies' hats gathered into a milliner's shop, but as of my visit they had not been arranged into any kind of context. Last visited 1997.
Subiaco Abbey Museum, Subiaco, 479-934-4411, by appointment. Have not been.
Whitetail World, Clarksville, take exit 58 off I-40, go up the hill, turn right on the first street after the Best Western, 479-754-8620. This is a store and museum. The store carries hunting books and videos, knives, boots, cammies, and the like. The attatched museum is an amazing collection of replica mounts of what must be all the record whitetail deer for every state in the U.S.; about sixty or seventy in all. If you happen to be cruising past Clarksville on I-40, Whitetail World's museum is a good opportunity to stretch your legs for a half-hour and see some things you won't see anywhere else. Even nonhunters will be impressed. Last visited 4/1/98.
Wine Museum, Paris, Cowie Wine Cellars, Highway 22 west of town, 479-963-3990. The museum is a work in progress that honors the once-thriving Arkansas wine industry, which formerly consisted of well over a hundred wineries. Cowie Wine Cellars is also a working winery, and there's plenty to see in addition to the museum. Most importantly, you can talk about wine with professional winemakers, as opposed to professional tourguides. Last visited on 6/18/97.