One of the oldest communities settled by homesteading pioneers in this region of Arkansas, Clinton’s dynamic history dates to the 1870’s. It’s a gem of natural beauty with strong regional heritage holding a special attraction to both visitors and long-time residents.
Clinton was named for DeWitt Clinton, the New York governor who built the Erie Canal. The land was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and settlers from the East soon began to populate the area. The first Clinton post office was established in 1833. The city was incorporated for the first time in 1851.
Clintonites have ruggedly persevered through conflicts and natural disasters over the generations. A fascinating tapestry of history spans from ancient rock shelters and Spanish explorers, railroads and steam-powered mills, to nuclear technology, massive highway expansion, and industrial growth.
Courthouse burned by Civil War bushwhackers
Van Buren County Courthouse built
First Championship Chuckwagon Race
Clinton Post Office opened
Clinton’s first newspaper ‘Clinton Banner’
Dedication of Greers Ferry Lake
“Three Rivers Trailhead” dedicated
Named seat of Van Buren County
US Hwy 65 is designated a national highway
Titan II Missile Accident
Incorporated on January 9, 1851
Fire destroys Clinton’s main business district
Great Clinton Flood of ’82
Greers Ferry Lake 50th Anniversary
VAN BUREN COUNTY COURTHOUSE
BUILT IN 1934
The Van Buren County Courthouse, located on the historic downtown square, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
THREE RIVERS TRAILHEAD
MAIN STREET PARK
This monolithic sculpture by Arkansas Living Treasure, Hank Kaminsky, is one of Clinton’s historic & artistic treasures. It depicts the tapestry of Van Buren County history in beautifully carved native stone rising from the convergence of three bodies of water.
Find all the hidden symbols in the rocks!
VAN BUREN COUNTY MUSEUM
311 3RD STREET (OFF MAIN STREET)
The VBC Historical Museum houses a diverse collection of items donated by the community, carefully displayed in exhibits that range from prehistoric artifacts to pioneer & farming life, WWI & WWII, and memorabilia from noteworthy events & figures from the area’s history.
Admission is always free, but donations are welcome to help continued preservation efforts.
We invite you to take a closer look into the growing community life and business development in our area.
We’re easily accessible on the direct route between Little Rock & Branson, Missouri. Enjoy our historic downtown, parks & trails, local arts & crafts, antique & boutique shopping, floating & camping, and much more!