Arlington's Newest History Resource: Fort C.F. Smith Visitor Cen

Published on April 17, 2018

The Fort C.F. Smith Visitor Center is the latest community resource to help residents and visitors learn more about Arlington's rich history.

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Plan Your Visit

Visitor Center Hours:
Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.—2 p.m.

Park Hours:
Daily, sunrise to sunset

2411 24th St. N (map it)

More information:
Visit the park webpage

Opened at the end of March, the visitor center highlights the history of Fort C.F. Smith, which was built in 1863 as part of a circle of 68 forts constructed around Washington, D.C. to protect the city.

While the area saw little military action, there were thousands of Union Army soldiers stationed in Arlington during the Civil War. At the time, Arlington was part of Alexandria County, and the area that makes up present-day Arlington County voted against seceding from the Union.

The center has Civil War artifacts on display that have been "boxed for years waiting for the visitors' center to open so we can show them to the public," said C.F. Smith Park Manager David Farner. It features displays about Union Army soldiers and the Defenses of Washington between 1861 and 1865. Children can try on replica Civil War uniforms and learn about camp life. Guests are also invited to walk the grounds of the historic site.