A Brief History of Mountain Home, Arkansas

South side of the square at Mountain Home, looking east; ca. 1910. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Page.

Mountain Home, a small town whose origins date back to the early nineteenth century, is located in north-central Arkansas on a plateau in the Ozark Mountains. The natural beauty of nearby Norfork and Bull Shoals lakes and the surrounding countryside has attracted tourists from around the country for many years. The town was originally known as Rapp’s Barren apparently named in honor of the first permanent white settler, Henry Rapp, who settled in the region around 1810. The word “barren” referred to the open prairie land, which had few trees and was thought to be infertile. Eventually, the name was dropped as it was thought that the term “barren” was not appropriate for such a beautiful area. The new post office established in 1857 went by the name Mountain Home. The most important early settler of Mountain Home was Orrin Dodd, sometimes referred to as the “father of Mountain Home.” He migrated to Mountain Home in the 1850s. Dodd owned a plantation and about thirty slaves. Some speculate he may have been a slave trader. Easily the richest man in Mountain Home, he owned a thirty-room mansion that sat atop what came to be known as Dodd Hill, overlooking the town (Mulloy, 2018).


Mulloy, Clement. (2018, Jul. 12). Mountain Home (Baxter County). Retrieved from encyclopediaofarkansas.net.

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