The Time Has Come | Opening Fall 2019
In January 2007, former U.S. Marshals Service Director John Clark announced the decision that Fort Smith, Arkansas would be the home of the U.S. Marshals Museum. Fort Smith is often considered sacred ground for the Marshals, as more Marshals and deputy Marshals died riding out of Fort Smith during the frontier era than in any other place or time in our nation’s history. This exciting site announcement culminated a highly-competitive selection process that had spanned several years. The dedicated group of volunteers who had represented Fort Smith throughout this selection process had work incredibly hard to earn this honor for our community. With the site designation in hand, the work then expanded and escalated.
The Robbie Westfall Family stepped forward, generously donating land along the Arkansas River to provide a beautiful setting for the Museum. Work then began in earnest to design a unique, welcoming exterior that would house engaging, entertaining, and educational exhibits to tell the story of the Marshals.
While the Marshals Museum is specifically dedicated to honoring a federal law enforcement agency, the Museum is not federally funded. Instead, this project is being funded almost entirely by the generosity of foundations, businesses, and individual donors. The Museum has also been also supported in-part by local and state government entities.
The U.S. Marshals Museum represents an investment of approximately $50 million dollars. Unlike other museums who have a single underwriting patron, this Museum is being funded by many – many generous foundations, persons, and businesses that want to make a significant impact on Fort Smith and the surrounding region, provide continuing civic education, and create a lasting legacy to brave men and women of the United States Marshals.
As we continue to move steadily toward our total fundraising goal, your financial support is earnestly needed, and will be greatly appreciated.
Groundbreaking took place when preliminary site work and foundation preparation was completed in the fall of 2017. CDI has been selected as General Contractor, and they anticipate being on site by mid-summer 2018. The project will progress rapidly once they are present. The Museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.
Don’t miss out on the excitement as our opening draws near. There will be lots of announcements celebrating construction milestones, fundraising successes, and archive donations – plus invitations to educational events and seminars. Stay up-to-date by registering for our monthly newsletters.