The 10th Annual Red River Heritage Symposium will take place on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Historic Washington State Park.

The conference topics will focus on the theme “Railroads of the Red River” in regard to the impact and development of the railroad in the Great Bend Region of the Red River. The event will take place at the 1914 Schoolhouse Auditorium of Historic Washington State Park.

Specific topics and speakers include: “Cairo and Fulton Railroad” by Peggy Lloyd of Hope, Ark.; “Fort Smith and Texarkana Railroad” by Melissa Nesbitt, Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives; “History of Texarkana” by Dr. Beverly Rowe, Texarkana College; “Railroads in Northeast Texas” by Dan Reed, Independent Historian; and “Northeast Texas Rail Trail Coalition” by Keith Shelton of Dekalb, Texas.

An all day Friday and Saturday morning workshop for teachers on resources related to the theme in the Red River Region will take place. Lunch is included both days. A total of 12 credit hours will be available for teachers to earn by attending both days of the symposium. Cost for attending the workshop will be $40. Workshop presenters will include Historic Washington State Park staff, and staff members from the Arkansas State Archives and Arkansas Historic Preservation who will do sessions on incorporating railroad and transportation history topics into curriculum standards for the classroom.

On Saturday morning a tour will be provided to the Reading Railroad engine near Prescott, Arkansas. For others interested in the tour the cost will be $15 per person, which includes lunch. Seating is limited, so call the Park Visitor Center to reserve your spot on the tour.

Cost for attendance to the symposium is $30 with an evening meal included. The time frame for the event is 1PM to 8PM.  A discount price of $60 will be offered to teachers who wish to attend both the workshop and symposium.  Check in will begin in the morning at 8AM at the 1874 Hempstead County Courthouse Visitor Center.

Historic Washington State Park, a restoration village preserving one of Arkansas’ most prominent 19th century towns, is located on US 278 nine miles north of Hope and can be reached by taking Exit 30 off Interstate 30. For more information visit Historic Washington State or call 870-983-2684 to register for workshops.