Bluff Ridge (Scott County)

Bluff Ridge is a historical community located north of Highway 378 in northern Scott County. Bluff Ridge was established just north of Poteau Mountain and two miles west of the Petit Jean River. Agriculture and timber have been important to the area.

Prior to European exploration, Bluff Ridge was a wilderness lush with native vegetation and numerous species of wildlife—including buffalo and elk, which no longer inhabit the area. Archaeological evidence from the ArchaicWoodland, and Mississippian periods has been discovered throughout the area. Additional evidence has indicated that the Caddo tribe had a strong presence along the Petit Jean River and other prominent waterways.

Throughout the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, French trappers and explorers traveled west from the Arkansas Post along the Arkansas River. From there, they began traversing smaller tributaries such as the Petit Jean River and other waterways. It is likely that they traveled through the area where Bluff Ridge is now located.

White settlers began arriving in the area near Bluff Ridge as early as the 1850s. The area continued to be settled through 1890s. Most families participated in a wide variety of agricultural practices.

The Civil War affected people living in the area near Bluff Ridge as it did throughout the rest of the Confederacy. Men who were called to fight in the war served with both the Confederacy and Union. Additionally, the women, children, and elderly were left to look after the homes and farms.

There is evidence of a school located in Bluff Ridge, but it is unclear where the school was located and when it was established.

After Reconstruction, Bluff Ridge received an influx of settlers moving to the area. Bennett Cemetery is located just east of Bluff Ridge; it is on private land and not accessible via public roads.

Bluff Ridge is served by the Northwest Scott County Rural Fire Department. Agriculture is still an important way of life in the area, mostly in the form of cattle and chicken farms.

For additional information:
Cate, Michael. History of Scott County, Arkansas. Dallas, TX: Curtis Media Corporation, 1991.

Echoes: The Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly. Waldron, AR: Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society (1986–).

Goodner, Charles. Scott County in Retrospect. Mansfield, AR: Frank Boyd, 1976.

Goodner, Norman. A History of Scott County, Arkansas. Siloam Springs, AR: Bar D Press, 1941.

McCutcheon, Henry Grady. History of Scott County, Arkansas. Little Rock: H. G. Pugh and Company, 1922.

Ty Richardson
Richardson Preservation Consulting

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