Courtesy of the Fort Smith Public Library
Looking south on First Street ca. 1896, the man standing left is in front of the T.H. Harrsion Saloon. Garrison Avenue crosses First Street between the other buildings on the left and the tree. The tree marks where a wagon yard was south of Garrison Avenue. On the right in the distance is the Fort Smith & Little Rock Railroad passenger depot, later the Missouri & Pacific depot. First Street was the center of Fort Smith's vice district. In the district, prostitution was legal and regulated from 1907 to 1923. The neighborhood was well-known for bawdy houses and bad behavior before then though. In 1903, a new Frisco Depot was built on the east side of the tracks across from the FSLRRR depot, south of Garrison Avenue about where the wagon yard is located here. Local leaders like George Sengel thought the location of the Frisco station across North A Street from the Harrison Saloon gave visitors a bad first impression of Fort Smith.