Located about 85 miles south of Little Rock, Gurdon was founded in the late nineteenth century, one of many timber towns located along a railway. The town is famous for its role as the founding place of the International Concatenated Order of the Hoo Hoo, the oldest industrial fraternal organization in the nation. In 1880 the town was incorporated.
Located on US 67, the town grew up around the railroad lines and timber industry, which continues to play an important role in the area's economy.
The town is probably best known as being the founding place of the International Concatenated Order of the Hoo Hoo. This lumbermen's fraternity was founded in 1892 by a set of lumber industry workers stranded in town by rainstorms. They devised the social organization as a joke, and created colorful officer designations such as the “Grand Snark of the Universe”. The joke took hold as a social organization, with branches worldwide.
In 1981, the organization moved its international headquarters from Boston (where it had been since 1970) to Gurdon and dedicated the museum that same year. The Museum and International Headquarters are located in a restored log house on Main Street. A monument commemorating the Hoo-Hoo's is located on North First Street. The monument features small statues of two black cats with their tails curled upward in the shape of the number 9. The monument, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, gives visitors a brief history of the organization and those who have served in it.
Aside from the Hoo Hoo's, the city is also well known as being home to ‘The Gurdon Light' an unexplained supernatural light based on local folklore.