Manage episode 331340639 series 3003280
Welcome to Van Buren, Arkansas, where history abounds! Located on the northern bank of the Arkansas River near the Oklahoma border, the area was originally settled by Europeans in 1818 just before the Arkansas became a territory in 1819. The town quickly became a popular port and trade center. The town was officially named Van Buren in 1831 when the post office was constructed. The town's population more than doubled during the gold rush of 1849. The first District Court of Arkansas was created in 1851 in Van Buren, but was ultimately moved across the river to Fort Smith in 1871. The King Opera House, constructed in the late 19th century, hosted vaudeville acts and performers until 1914 when a fire gutted the structure. The building was remodeled as "moving picture" house and continued as such until it was purchased by the city in 1979. Renovations of the building were completed in 1991 and it has resumed its original purpose as a venue for live performances and other community events. We hope you enjoy our visit to Van Buren!