About Bald Knob
An Introduction & History Story
Welcome to Bald Knob
The City of Bald Knob is rich in history, heritage and potential. All throughout town you can find some of the most unique restaurants, boutiques, and other fun places to shop. Founded in 1881, Bald Knob has since continued to provide not just charm and hospitality, but the feel of home for generations. Bald Knob is home to manufacturing companies as well as beloved brands that got their start right here in our community. In recent years, our parks and community resources continue to expand, our sports complexes continue to upgrade, and we've seen a drastic increase in new business development. Whether you've been a local for life or are looking for a new community to become a part of, we hope that you give Bald Knob a visit and give us a chance to provide you with a place that you can call "home".
Why the Unusual Name?
The City of Bald Knob got its unusual name from a very large rock known as the Bald Knob. This rock was nearly an acre in size and was first used by Native Americans as a camping ground during their hunting trips up and down the White River Valley. Surrounded by a flat rock shelf, it was visible for quite a distance. It remained a landmark until officials became interested in quarrying the Bald Knob rock for railroad bed ballast in the construction of the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1872. Work in the quarry began in 1877, and, by 1880, fifty-six of the town’s 221 people worked there. More than half of the quarry workers were foreign born, most from Ireland. The importance of rock quarrying continued as the Bald Knob rock furnished ballast for Jay Gould’s Bald Knob Memphis Railroad, built in 1886–1888 to make an east-west connection for the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern. It later sometimes served as a gathering place for marauding outlaws, while cattlemen utilized it to gather their herds for salting, branding and selling after the rock was quarried. By 1900, the quarry had wound down, but it was reopened briefly in the 1920s to furnish rock for buildings at Southwestern College (now Rhodes College) in Memphis, Tennessee. The area, sparsely settled before the war, was initially named Shady Grove after a church and schoolhouse in what is now the northwest part of town.
The Bald Knob Rock. Around the 1850s.
Today the quarry remains very much as it was over 125 years ago. Bald Knob and the surrounding area became known as "The Strawberry Center of the World." Truck and train carloads of this highly sought-after commodity were shipped from the Waller Family Strawberry Market for several years. The town celebrates in early May with the annual HomeFest Festival which has several strawberry-oriented events such as a strawberry eating contest, a strawberry cake auction and sales of the prized local crop. Also included in the event are a carnival, Mr. Bald Knob contest, a parade, live entertainment and crafts show.
Welcome to Bald Knob
Today, Bald Knob still remains a charming little town with much its history still in-tact. You can see many buildings standing today that has been since the birth of the town. Click a button below for a list of places to eat, shop, things to do, and places to stay. After all, the best way to take in a town is to see it for yourself! Welcome to Bald Knob!
Historical Information & Photos sourced collectively from Google, Arkansas.com, EncyclopediaOfArkansas.net and much more.