It’s Time | 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 Westphal 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, people 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.
Crews are currently installing the frame of the 53,000-square foot United States Marshals Museum along the Arkansas River. 430 tons of structural steel from Midwest Automation Custom Fabrication in Fort Smith arrived on site in mid-November 2018, with the first steel beam being put into place on Nov. 27, 2018 by Homes Erection of Fort Smith.
The concrete work for both the building and the parking lot is now complete. White pipes for the water, sewer and data transmission lines are in place on the building pad.
CDI Contractors began and completed initial site work in the fall of 2017. As part of that process, the land the Museum will sit on was raised so that the building itself is positioned higher than both the 100 and 500-year flood plain marks.
We encourage you to check out the progress next time you are near the site. You can also keep up to date by watching the live feed here.
The Museum facility and the Samuel M. Sicard Hall of Honor, which will pay tribute to the deputy U.S. Marshals killed in the line of duty, are set to open on September 24, 2019, marking the 230th anniversary of the creation of the United States Marshals Museum. Exhibits will follow.