Unique background sheds light on town of Arab history - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bobby's Bama

Unique background sheds light on town of Arab history

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

Janet Calhoun is with the Arab Historical Society.

"Steven Tuttle Thompson is the person given credit for founding the town."

A park in the middle of the town is where Calhoun talks about the unusual story surrounding the naming of the city.  

"That's a mistake the post office made in Washington D.C. I guess. And he did "b" instead of a "d" and named it Arab, and it would have taken months to have corrected that and the town just accepted it and went on," said Calhoun.

At the corner of 69 and Main in Arab is where the park is located.  Also at the park is this historic plaque and it gives a lot of the background concerning the founding of the town.

Calhoun says Tuttle Thompson wanted to name the town for a relative  "It was his son and you know they didn't have zip codes back then, and they wanted a four letter name and Arad just fit that," said Calhoun.

It would have been quite an honor for the then 13-year-old boy but it didn't take. The family name is still significant, as Arad's father still gets credit as the founder of the town.  

"What we know is, they came from Ray County, Tennessee. The family moved around the 1840's to Hobbs Island, and moved on up to what we call now Thompson's Fall. And then Steven Tuttle moved up in 1858 and built the first house. So he was the first person to live here in Arab," said Calhoun.

"That house was right across the street from this park, where that meat market is located today and of course that would have been a log cabin," said Calhoun.

Calhoun says she's glad the park is there with a sense of history for generations to come.

"People that grow up without a sense of their history are sort of lost," said Calhoun.

But thanks to the historical society and it's efforts to preserve that history, it won't happen here, in Bobby's Bama. 

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