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The Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society was founded on September 27, 1974, by a group of individuals who were interested in history and preserving the heritage of Baxter County. The organization, originally known as the Baxter County Historical Society, is officially chartered in Arkansas as a nonprofit organization. In 1999, the name was changed to the Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society.
The mission of the society is to preserve and interpret the history of Baxter County by acquiring, preserving, and showcasing artifacts; acquiring, preserving, and making available for research records documenting the social, economic, and political history of the county through an active archival program at the Baxter County Archives; promoting historical and genealogical research; and educating children and adults about the county’s rich cultural heritage through lectures, exhibits, tours, and the publication of a quarterly journal, Baxter County History. The society, with approximately 200 members, also sponsors a junior historian program at Norfork High School in Norfork (Baxter County).
The society administers the Baxter County Archives, which is responsible for the acquisition, preservation, and dissemination of records and other materials pertaining to virtually all aspects of Baxter County history. The archives is one of the few county archives currently operating in Arkansas, and its research room is open to historical and genealogical researchers.
In 1992, the city of Mountain Home (Baxter County) agreed to allow the society to have a section of Cooper Park on Spring Street to erect Rapp’s Barren (the original name for Mountain Home), a pioneer village of buildings that were moved to the site from several areas of the county. In the late 1990s, the site—consisting of two log cabins, a shotgun-style house, and the Shady Grove School—was turned over to the city to maintain. Baxter County History Day, co-sponsored by the historical society and the city of Mountain Home, is observed each October in Rapp’s Barren. The society also maintains the Casey House, the oldest extant house in Mountain Home. It was built in 1858 and is still located on its original site near the Baxter County Fairground. Tours are offered during the Baxter County Fair in September and on other occasions.
The Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month with programs pertaining to the history of Baxter County and north-central Arkansas. Meeting times and locations are announced in the local media and also posted on the society’s website.
For additional information:Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society. http://www.baxtercountyhistory.org/ (accessed July 20, 2010).
Jennifer Baker and Richard SoubersBaxter County Historical and Genealogical Society
Last Updated 9/1/2010
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