Jacob Wolf House

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.

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.

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, will enhance the visitor's experience. Grant funds will aid in restoring the historic structures on site, renovate support facilities, provide for new exhibits, and allow 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.

Tours of the historic structures and grounds are available upon request. Temporary Hours of Operation are: Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Weekends are self-guided until site improvements have been completed. For more information, please call 870-499-0556.