A lack of parking. That is one of the consistent complaints about the River Market district. As the area continues to grow and improve, the demand for parking grows. Meeting that demand has led to an interesting discovery.

Crews doing excavation work in downtown Little Rock made an unusual find: a military sword possibly dating to the early 1800s. Workers were excavating for the construction of a new parking deck at a site that once housed the Ashley mansion, built around 1820 by the prominent lawyer and U.S. Sen. Chester Ashley. Clark Construction representatives turned over the sword to the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Swannee Bennett, Museum chief curator, said the curved sword is likely of American or European origin. Despite spending nearly 200 years underground Bennett says it is still a fine piece. Bennett says if funding can be found the sword will undergo a lengthy restoration and be displayed one day.

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