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Dardanelle, Arkansas
Historic downtown Dardanelle, February 2009
Historic downtown Dardanelle, February 2009
"where history & hospitality reside"
Location in Yell County and the state of Arkansas
Location in Yell County and the state of Arkansas
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Yell
 • Total 3.1 sq mi (7.9 km2)
 • Land 3.1 sq mi (7.9 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
331 ft (101 m)
 • Total 4,745
 • Density 1,363.9/sq mi (535.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 479
FIPS code 05-17380
GNIS feature ID 0079131
Website City of Dardanelle Arkansas

Dardanelle is a city in Yell County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,745 at the 2010 census. Along with Danville, it serves as a county seat for Yell County. It is located near Lake Dardanelle.

Dardanelle is part of the Russellville Micropolitan Statistical Area.


The longest pontoon bridge in the world, spanning Russellville and Dardanelle, Arkansas. - NARA - 516537
The former (1891-1929) pontoon bridge between Dardanelle and Russellville was the longest in the U.S. at over 2,200 feet

Dardanelle is one of the oldest cities in the state of Arkansas. Officially incorporated in 1855, Dardanelle celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005. However, the area had been settled for years before that, first being established as a river town in the mid-18th century. It is Yell County's dual county seat, sharing that title with Danville.

The Treaty of Council Oaks was signed on June 24, 1823 on what is now Front Street beneath two huge oak trees (102 feet high and 400–500 years old). Under orders of President James Monroe, U.S. Army Colonel David Brearly and Arkansas territorial secretary Robert Crittendon met with Chief Black Fox and several Cherokee leaders to determine boundaries. As a result of the treaty, the Cherokees gave up all of their land in Arkansas south of the Arkansas River. One of the trees was destroyed in the early 1990s in a flood, but the other is still standing. The site is now a city park.

Because of its location on the banks of the Arkansas River, Dardanelle was one of Arkansas's leading towns in the 19th century. Hundreds of barges, steamboats, and other vessels traveled by the town annually. Approximately halfway between the state's two largest cities of Little Rock and Fort Smith, Dardanelle was a transportation and business hub, known as a marketplace for gin, rum and cotton.

Dardanelle has a history of being one of the state's leading immigration centers that continues to this day. Vast numbers of Czech and German families, including the Ballouns, Vodrazkas, Staneks, and Pfeiffers, came to the town in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and their impact can still be felt. As of 2010, Dardanelle has one of the highest percentages of Hispanics in the state, with over 36% of the town's population Hispanic (up from 21% in 2000).

Merritt Park opened in the late 1990s on the west side of town. It is a large, state-of-the-art park featuring outstanding baseball facilities, a playground, soccer fields, basketball courts, and a walking/jogging trail. The adjacent Dardanelle Community Center opened around the same time, and provides multiple services for the community.

In the late 19th century, a pontoon bridge between Dardanelle and Russellville replaced ferry service. Spanning 2,208 feet, it was the longest pontoon bridge ever constructed across a moving body of water. The bridge was completely washed out multiple times during its nearly forty years of existence.

The Dardanelle Lock & Dam, constructed in the 1960s as a part of the McClellan-Kerr Navigation System, led to the formation of Lake Dardanelle. It is a source of hydropower, and helps regulate river traffic on the Arkansas River. For 2013, over 8.9 million dollars were budgeted for its operations.


Dardanelle is located at 35°13′21″N 93°9′37″W / 35.2225°N 93.16028°W / 35.2225; -93.16028 (35.222539, -93.160408).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 299
1870 926 209.7%
1880 748 −19.2%
1890 1,456 94.7%
1900 1,602 10.0%
1910 1,757 9.7%
1920 1,835 4.4%
1930 1,832 −0.2%
1940 1,807 −1.4%
1950 1,772 −1.9%
1960 2,098 18.4%
1970 3,297 57.1%
1980 3,621 9.8%
1990 3,722 2.8%
2000 4,228 13.6%
2010 4,745 12.2%
Est. 2015 4,659 −1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
2014 Estimate

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,228 people, 1,605 households, and 1,078 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,382.0 people per square mile (533.5/km²). There were 1,747 housing units at an average density of 571.0 per square mile (220.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.24% White, 4.64% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 16.65% from other races, and 2.41% from two or more races. 21.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,727, and the median income for a family was $30,457. Males had a median income of $21,138 versus $17,370 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,583. About 14.9% of families and 19.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.5% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.

According to 2010 Census results, the population of the area was approximately 4,745 people. From 2000 to 2010, the Dardanelle city population growth percentage was 12.2% (or from 4,228 people to 4,745 people). 28.7% of the Dardanelle city residents were under 18 years of age. Racial data for Dardanelle city include the breakdown percentages of 57.9% non-Latino White, 3.6% African American, 0.5% Asian and 36.1% Hispanic, with 1,346 of 1,745 Latino residents being of Mexican descent.

Also, there were 1,877 housing units in Dardanelle city, 89.5% of which were occupied housing units, with just over 50% of occupied units being those of homeowners. There were 1,680 households out of which 39.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 27.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.33.

Arts and culture

Museums and other points of interest

Dardanelle, AR Post Office WPA Mural (interior)
An oil on canvas mural, Cotton Growing, Manufacture, and Export, painted in 1939 by Ludwig Mactarian is on display in the Dardanelle post office

A number of attractions can be found in Dardanelle or its surrounding area, including:

  • The Yell County Courthouse (on the National Register of Historic Places)
  • Dardanelle Rock

Parks and recreation

Lake Dardanelle
View of Lake Dardanelle, with reactor at Arkansas Nuclear One visible in background
  • Lake Dardanelle
  • Mount Nebo and Mount Nebo State Park
  • Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge
  • Dana Merritt Park
  • Veterans' Memorial Riverfront Park
  • Council Oaks Park and Historic Site

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