Fort Chaffee Hospital

City/Town: Fort Smith
Location Class: GovernmentHospital
Year Built: 1941
Year Abandoned: 2005
Status: AbandonedEndangeredNational Register of Historic Places GuttedBurned Down
Photographer: Michael SchwarzEddy SissonJames Kirkendall


FORT SMITH — Fort Smith fire investigators say a blaze that destroyed more than 100 historic buildings at the old Fort Chaffee hospital has been ruled accidental.

Fire Marshal Chris Driggers told KFSM-TV that a probe of the fire doesn’t indicate it was intentionally set, and that discarded smoking materials were the likely cause.

The Aug. 3 fire charred 90 acres and consumed 110 unoccupied buildings at the former hospital, which was used by the U.S. Army when the post was an active military installation. No injuries were reported and no homes were in danger.

The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority owns the land where the fire occurred.

Executive Director Ivy Owen estimates a clean-up could cost about $600,000 to rid the environment of the asbestos and lead-laden debris.

Arkansas Online

The Hospital located at Fort Chaffee Arkansas, has been abandoned for many years. The medical complex at Fort Chaffee opened on December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day). The medical complex itself is an enormous site with 128 buildings all held together by long hallways. The complex has its own exchange and theater. It even had its own four lane bowling alley, not to mention being a 1,595 bed hospital.

Groundbreaking for what was then Camp Chaffee was held on September 20, 1941, as part of the Department of War’s preparations to double the size of the U.S. Army in the face of imminent war. That month, the United States government paid $1.35 million to acquire 15,163 acres from 712 property owners, including families, farms, businesses, churches, schools, and other government agencies. The camp was named after Major General Adna R. Chaffee Jr., an artillery officer who, in Europe during World War I, determined that the cavalry was outmoded and, unlike other cavalry officers, advocated for the use of tanks. It took only sixteen months to build the entire base. The first soldiers arrived on December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The installation was activated on March 27, 1942. From 1942 to 1946, the Sixth, Fourteenth, and Sixteenth Armored Divisions trained there. During World War II, it served as both a training camp and a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp. The major purpose of the camp was to train soldiers for combat and prepare units for deployment, but from 1942 to 1946, there were also 3,000 German POWs there. The creation of the camp caused the nearby town of Barling to experience a tremendous boom in housing and businesses.

Read More at Encyclopedia of Arkansas


  1. comentou em 28 de janeiro de 2010 às 14:14. As embalagens são iguais, só o liquido muda de cor. Se tiver a pele mais oleosa, escolha o rosa. Se for mais mista ou mais sensível, escolha o azulzinho.Bjsss!!!!

  2. – ohh la la Mexican Fiesta indeed….loved that handbook, what is that, so funny, and really cool how you posted the vendor info on top, and oh so loved that make up lady red thingie… great shots! one lucky couple to have you guys

  3. Well, full disclosure… I know Batiste personally. He’s an arrogant asshole, and the Army is a better place without him. Let’s just say it didn’t surprise me that he lashed back at the NCA when he wasn’t on the fast-track for a third star.A bitter little man he is.

  4. I can not get irb in my SciTE windows version either. After adding the properties in post#7 step(1) — in the output window I continue to get the below:>ruby parse_fanuc_file.rbI pushed F5 and ran my ruby program!>Exit code: 0irb>irbSwitch to inspect moSweirb.batirb.batd.itch to inspect mode.Any suggestions? (Thank-you for the post, after a loooooong search for a lightweight editor I finally read your post. SciTE seems perfect. )

  5. Michael Benge on

    1500 bed hospital? Probably slipped a digit. I'd be surprised if it was more than 150 beds. This was "Camp" Chaffee till late in its service life with no permanent housing on base. It was elevated to Fort status and then considered expendable a short time later depending on politics. In the 50's hospital entertainment amounted to a couple of easy to beat pinball machines. In the sixties when Chaffee was used for summer reservists training Theater #2 was kept in good shape with snack bar open and screenings every night. The snack bar in at Theater #1 was sometimes open in the afternoon/evening. Depended on how large a group of reservists was on base.

  6. I talked to my parents and they said they never heard of any ghost stories on the base when they were stationed there. Must be new ghosts. LOL

  7. I did a short stint as a MP there years ago. On night shift we would walk around the old hospital, very spooky, but nothing out of the ordinary.

  8. Patricia Goff on

    My brother was born at Fort Chaffee. I have never been there which is a shame since I live in Little Rock.

    • Michael Benge on

      Don't drop by, you won't get in. Every backwater rundown national guard garage or IRS office in the states thinks they're a high risk for terrorists site. Chaffee included. And the IRS will call you in but not let you park on their property and make you go down the street and use some business's parking. I can attest personally to Chaffee and the IRS. Which is crazy compared to Texas, where I live, where you can carry loaded firearms in to the state capitol and offices to defend yourself from attack by state officials.

Leave A Reply

Copyright 2012-2016 by - - Designed By Michael Schwarz - Disclaimer