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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Mountain Home


Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1950 2,217 3
1960 2,105 0
1970 3,936 1
1990 9,027 0
2000 11,012 10,758 20 41 52 132 29

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


The curator of the county historical society
confirms that Mountain Home did have a sundown
sign until at least the 1940s.

“A popular resort area attracting many fishermen
and campers, some of whom move there after
retirement. There are no blacks in the county and
none have been there since around 1900.
“The residents of Mountain Home can be
classified into two groups (a) long time natives who
make up about 60% of the population, and (b)
immigrant retirees, who comprise about 33% of the
population… [Natives] have had little, if any
contact with blacks or other minority groups. They
may see a truck driver or mover occasionally who is
black, but they know he has no plans for making
the area his home. They show little objection to his
-from “Mountain Home: A Gray Town”

In a survey of Mountain Home residents (100
questionaires distributed, 61 returned): Over half of
the retirees “had been influenced by the all-white
population of Mountain Home” when choosing to
move there. 51% of the entire sample chose “lack of
opportunity for employment” to explain why no
blacks live in town. They expect blacks will move in,
in about five years. Some believe “that police have
not protected blacks in some mainly white
communities leaving unsympathetic whites free
play to treat them as they liked.”
“Sample members expressed negative attitudes
toward minority group members in general.” Asked
if Mountain Home resident would welcome other
[not black] minority groups, 23 respondents “did
not think so.” “They probably did not realize that
there are several Indian and Oriental families
residing in Mountain Home and having no difficulty.
Probably respondents don’t recognize these
groups as minorities in the way that blacks are so
“Natives showed greater prejudice than northern
retirees… Respondents who had lived and worked
with blacks were much more tolerant of minority
“Several large construction projects have
employed blacks who worked in the Mountain
Home area. There has been little trouble on these
projects, and prejudice was probably outweighed by
the idea that blacks were temporary in the area.
One respondent reported an incident (rumor) where
two blacks on a construction crew some distance
from Mountain Home were threatened and forced to
cross over the Missouri line at night to sleep.”