Parkin Archeological State Park exists to preserve, collect, research, and interpret the site and its associated American Indian culture, emphasizing the period of AD 1200 – 1600, its interactions with the first Europeans, and the impact of historic utilization of the site area.
The state park consists of a visitor center and a 3/4 -mile fully paved walking trail with information panels that inform visitors about various aspects of both prehistoric and historic Parkin. The trail passes by the Mississippian Indian mound, the original Parkin cemetery and a restored Northern Ohio schoolhouse. There is also a scenic overlook of the St. Francis River.
The Parkin Archeological State Park sits on a 17 acre site along the St. Francis River that was occupied by Mississippian Indians from A.D. 1000 to 1550. Parkin is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. National Park Service and is one of only 16 such sites in Arkansas. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the best preserved village site of this time period in the region.
A large platform mound, that served as a base for the chief’s house remains today.
Many scholars believe that the Parkin site is the American Indian village of Casqui visited by the expedition of Hernando de Soto in the summer of 1541. The de Soto expedition traveled around what is now Arkansas for two years and had a tremendous impact on the Native Americans. Thousands died as a result of diseases spread unknowingly by the Spanish.
In the early 1900s a sawmill was established at the Parkin site by the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company. Some of the mill workers built houses and lived near the factory creating a new community that became known as Sawdust Hill. Although the saw mill closed in the late 1940s many of the families remained there until the land was purchased by the park in 1994. A cemetery is actually still located there. The park also features a restored 1940s schoolhouse. It is open for guided tours and certain special events.
In addition to the founding of the park, a research station was established by the the Arkansas Archeological Survey. Artifacts are still being found and analyzed at the site. This truly makes Parkin Archeological State Park an ever changing and growing historical site.
The Visitor Center and Museum are well maintained and the staff very friendly.
Hours of Operation:
Open Tuesday thru Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entry into the visitor center and self guided tours are free to the public.
Parking Archeological State Park
60 Highway 184 N / P.O. Box 1110
Parkin, Arkansas. 72373
Phone: (870) 755-2500