Jacob Wolf House

Who Was Jacob Wolf?

Jacob Wolf was a merchant, builder of log structures, carpenter, and blacksmith. He was elected as a representative to the General Assembly of Arkansas Territory in 1826. The two-story dogtrot structure was constructed by Jacob Wolf in 1829 as the first permanent courthouse for Izard County in Arkansas Territory. The Wolf House sits in present-day Norfork (Baxter County) above where the White and Norfork rivers meet. The building served thousands of early settlers finding their way into the central highlands of north Arkansas. People from the surrounding area would set up temporary quarters on the grounds to socialize and participate in their favorite activities while court was in session. Notably, John P. Houston, brother of American legend Sam Houston, served as a county clerk in this courthouse. The site was used as a river port, center of trade, and as a seat of justice.

Why is this Site Important? 

The Wolf House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The National Park Service documented in 2013: “Notably, it is the only surviving example with at least moderate historic integrity constructed for a civic purpose; the others were private homes or early stagecoach inns and taverns.” It is the last remaining two-story dog-trot public structure in the United States.

Historical Preservation

In March of 2017, the Department of Arkansas Heritage acquired the site from the Baxter County Quorum Court. New site improvements, provided by an Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council grant, have enhanced the visitor's experience. Grant funds aided in restoring the historic structures on site, renovating support facilities, providing for new exhibits, and allowing the department to offer public programming for the first time.


The Wolf House will offer comprehensive interpretive themes between 1829-1863 tied to the historic site. Programming will focus on Early Arkansas Frontier, Native American Culture, River Travel and Trade, Territorial Politics, Early Statehood, Slavery in the Ozarks and The Civil War.

Historic Site Rules

  • Hours of Operation: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, starting Memorial Day weekend 2019. Visitors can take self-guided tours when a guided tour is not offered. 
  • Parking: 8am–Sunset. No one is allowed in the parking lots or on-site after sunset. No blocking of parking spaces with trailers or vehicles. 
  • There is a NO SMOKING policy in place at the historic site. 
  • No fireworks on property.
  • Pets must be on a leash at all times. 
  • Children must be accompanied by their parents at all times. 
  • No Metal Detectors are allowed on the property. No digging or surface hunting is allowed. 
  • No ATVs on the property. 
  • All loaded firearms or other deadly weapons are prohibited within this building. Carrying a concealed handgun is permitted only if the individual possesses a concealed handgun enhanced license endorsement. 
  • The historic structures are not for rent or generally available for special use at this time. The historic structures are only open for tours by the on-site staff during open hours.
  • Special use of the property has to have prior approval from the site manager (such as birthdays, family reunions, weddings). 
  • For more information: Call 870-499-0556