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Crawford County Chronicles begins May 5

Crawford County Chronicles begins May 5

Crawford Chronicles, a series of talks about Crawford County history, begins at 2 p.m. May 5 at the Drennen-Scott Historic Site with Fred Williams as the featured speaker.


The series will be held the first Monday of the month May through November, according to historic site director Tom Wing. Archeology, the Civil War, local cemeteries and preservation are some of the free talks. Refreshments will be served.


William’s talk will start the series at the earliest days of settlement.


“Fred’s roots go back into the 1870s,” said Wing. “Over the years, he has helped restore and preserve a number of historic buildings on Main Street. His topic will be the town site of Columbus, the community that predated Van Buren on the north bank of the river. Prone to flooding, Columbus would eventually be abandoned when one of the community’s residents, John Drennen, bought Phillips Landing. Fred will expand on this little-known – but important – chapter of Crawford County history.”


Drennen built the home now used as the Drennen-Scott Historic Site. He began operating a woodlot on the Arkansas River in the late 1820s and purchased the property that became Van Buren in 1836. Between 1834 and 1836, the Drennen family built a one-room house that grew into the home maintained today, continually inhabited by the Drennen family. 


In 2005, fifth-generation descendants of the Drennen-Scott family sold the hilltop home and site to UA-Fort Smith. With state historical and parks agencies, the Drennen-Scott Historic Site was established as a laboratory for students of the UAFS Historic Interpretation program, the only one of its kind in the nation. The house also serves as a public historic site. The historic interpretation students, in training as future park rangers and historians, share in the operation of the Drennen-Scott House. 


Limited parking will be available. Those attending also may park at the Crawford County Courthouse, two blocks away. Drennen-Scott Historic Site, 221 North 3rd Street, Van Buren. 479-262-2750

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