This White County town of a little over 3,000 people is known for its delicious strawberries. The unusual name comes from a huge rock outcropping that was nearly an acre in size. The community was incorporated in 1881 with railroad construction beginning in 1872. A local legend claims that Hernando De Soto discovered, then referred to, the large rock as "bald knob" while exploring the Mississippi River Valley in 1541.
Native Americans used the location 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 it was quarried and used in the construction of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. It later served as a gathering place for marauding outlaws and slave traders, while cattlemen utilized it to gather their herds for salting, branding and selling after the rock was quarried.
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.
Outdoor recreation opportunities abound in the area with the White and Little Red Rivers nearby. The 217-acre Bald Knob Lake, two miles north of the city, was constructed in 1960. Bream, bass, crappie and catfish are awaiting anglers though there are some boating restrictions due to its role as the city water supply. The Bald Knob Water Department can provide details. Located five miles east of town and three miles south of U.S. 64, the Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management Area, owned and managed by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, is 17,000 acres in size and is popular for hunting and fishing.