True Grit Christmas
Tree Decorating and Parade in Dardanelle
Marshal Marilyn Shay adds her special touch to the True Grit Trail Christmas Tree at the Dardanelle Courthouse.
Photographs by Tom Shay
Mattie Ross basks in the glow of the Christmas Tree after guiding the Green Lightening Bug in the Dardanelle Christmas Parade.
True Grit is a New York Times bestseller by Charles Portis and twice made into motion pictures starring John Wayne and Jeff Bridges.
Whether you like Wayne or Bridges as Marshal Rooster Cogburn; Glen Campbell (a native of Delight, Arkansas) or Matt Damon as Sergeant LeBeouf, take the 75 mile journey from Dardanelle to Fort Smith and see the True Grit Trail—Arkansas Highway 22.
Arkansas is where “True Grit” began, and lives today. The True Grit Trail is anchored in the East by Dardanelle in the Arkansas River Valley. It was, and is, the home of Mattie Ross, her family and a great community.
In the West the Trail is anchored by Fort Smith on the Oklahoma border. It’s the home of the US Marshals Museum and Judge Isaac Parker's court.
Visit the Arkansas River Valley Library located on Union Street in Dardanelle. There you will find the Yell County Historical Society's True Grit Trail Community Room featuring an exhibit about True Grit.
Ongoing exhibits tell stories about both the fictional and non-fictional True Grit, starting with where the story of True Grit really took place.
The mission of the Yell County Historical Society is to promote individual and general interest in the history of Yell County. We collect, preserve and publish pertinent information concerning Yell County history.
The history of the True Grit Trail begins in Yell County, Arkansas, with the people who have demonstrated their true grit for over 100 years.