The History Of Ft. Smith's Adelaide Hall

Construction commenced on Adelaide Hall in 1870 and was completed in the spring of 1871 by William Meade Fishback, a resident of Fort Smith. He was a lawyer, a politician, and one-term governor of Arkansas. (Fort Smith's only occupant of the governor mansion.) It was first called Fishback Haller. Later the building was named in honor of the builder's wife, Adelaide Miller Fishback. Adelaide Hall not only served as a memorial to Fishback's wife, it also functioned as a gathering place for a wide variety of community events in the 1870's. The first recorded event was a "Bridge Mass Meeting" on August 5, 1871 to discuss an effort to build a bridge across the Arkansas River at the west end of Garrison Avenue. The wedding reception for General B.L.E. Bonneville and his bride, was held in Adelaide Hall on November 30th, 1871.

The Hall was also the site of more partisan activity. Colonel M. L. Rice, running as the Greenback candidate for the 3rd District Congressional seat, spoke to a political rally gathered in the hall on October 2, 1878. Adelaide Hall began to perform many of the same functions as the other buildings on the west end of Garrison, namely, it became a center for wholesale businesses and for retailers such as J. P. Collier & Co flour and seed store. Adelaide Hall sheltered merchandise brokers, plumbers and wholesale produce businesses as well as providing professional office space from time to time.

Adelaide Hall was reconstructed in 1995 by Richard B. & Jaunice Griffin. Today, the hall is owned by the Bricktown Brewery and operates as a banquet facility and hosts parties throughout the year for the Fort Smith community. It has a private corporate meeting room and a main room totaling 7,000 square feet with a 960 foot dance floor. The banquet hall can serve 250 guests for a sit down dinner and 350 guests for a reception.