Jefferson Home Scene

The Jefferson Home Scene

Scene Information

The actual location of this scene is at the far north corner section of the parking lot and approximately 150 feet north of the entrance gate.  This scene location is the home of Arcella Jefferson and her family.  The scenes in the film are Newt and Jappy walking from the north corner to the home of Arcella looking for her, but her mother tells them she is not there.  Newt and Jappy then walk back toward the north corner street past a red house and stop to talk. Arcella is walking from the west and meets them.  Jappy walks away, while Newt talks to Arcella.


Scene Location

During filming, this scene took place at a home located then on the corner of Blair and Hendricks Avenue.  It is now on the property of the Fort Scott National Historic Site located at 199 Old Fort Boulevard (in the RV parking lot behind the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce building). The Houses was torn down after filming, due to urban renewal in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s.

Driving Tour Map

Fun Facts with Notes on Location from the Fort Scott Tribune Newspaper

  • During the filming the house was located near the corner of the Old Fort area then streets Hendricks and Blair Ave. Hendricks ran north to south and Blair ran east to west. The house painted white faced east along Hendricks Street. The big red house with a white porch was on the far corner of Hendricks and Blair and also faced east.
  • The filming of Arcella’s family house was just north approximately 150ft from the Hawkins/ Plaza School.
  • The Hawkins/ Plaza School was the same segregated school, where Gordon Parks attended grades K-8. Gordon graduated from the school in 1927 with a graduating class of 12 students.
  • The Hawkins School was razed during urban renewal soon after the filming of the Learning Tree in 1968.
  • During filming at this location, the house that portrayed Arcella’s home and the red house beside it along Hawkins School and all of the homes and downtown business known as the Marketplace were torn down, due to urban renewal. The original Old Fort Buildings were all that remained.
  • It was suggested that Gordon preferred this area to film, due to the houses being older looking and close to the time period being film. Additionally they were already empty since they were being prepared for demolition.
  • Homes, school and downtown business were all built after the Old Fort disbanded. A campaign effort took place to re-establish the historic Fort and reconstruct all of the buildings and area of the Fort to its original state. The historic Fort soon became of National Historic Site and opened in 1979.
  • During the filming you can see the original Historic Old Fort Officer Quarters buildings painted white in the far right background along Blair Ave, when Arcella is walking down the road to Newt and Jappy and when Jappy is walking up the road on Blair. The buildings are also visible in the background behind Newt when walks up the same road and turns around and talks to Arcella.

Behind the Scenes Photos

Aerial Location Views

Virtual tour