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This is a contributing entry for Historic Washington State Park - Self-Guided Walking Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

A 1960s reconstruction of a pioneer-era roadside tavern inn, the Morrison Tavern Inn was constructed by the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation near the location of a similar structure that faced Franklin Street (Arkansas Highway 195). The current structure was built facing the new main road through town, US Highway 278.

Morrison Tavern Inn (Reconstructed 1960)

Morrison Tavern Inn (Reconstructed 1960)

Constructed in 1960, the Morrison Tavern Inn was an interpretation of a roadside tavern as seen on the Southwest Trail, such as the original Williams' Tavern located north of town (the building that would later be moved to Washington and renovated in the 1980s). Taverns served as "rest stops" and could sell provisions, host post offices and stage stations, and even provide lodging and meals. This was interpreted with a tap room, detached kitchen, and rooms with beds and lodging furniture inside. The Tavern Inn also featured exhibits, such as a printer's room detailing the history of the Washington Telegraph with a working press (now located in the Print Museum).

The original tavern sat on the other side of the block, facing the Southwest Trail (modern-day Arkansas 195); the small brick foundation marks the spot. The 1960 reconstruction was built facing the current main route through town (modern-day U.S. 278), by B.W. Edward's construction company and with funds donated from William and Lucille Hart King. Today it mostly hosts park office space, except for the Tap Room in front and Kitchen in rear, which are occasionally on tour.

Brooke, Steven. Historic Washington, Arkansas. Gretna, Louisiana. Pelican Publishing Company, 2000.

Medearis, Mary. Washington, Arkansas : History on the Southwest Trail. Hope, Arkansas. Copies + Office Solutions, 1984.

Williams, Charlean Moss. The Old Town Speaks : Washington, Hempstead County, Arkansas, gateway to Texas, 1835, Confederate Capital, 1863. Houston, Texas. The Anson Jones Press, 1951.

Williams, Joshua. Washington. Images of America. Charleston, South Carolina. Arcadia Publishing, 2014.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism