About Us

The Yellow House itself is an historic building. The premises which house the Community Arts Center have a rich and colorful history. Our account of this history dates back to 1853, when President Franklin Pierce granted to the widow Mary Maddox a tract of land which included the property where the Yellow House now stands. In 1858, Josiah Howell, for whom Howell County is named, purchased the land to establish a county seat.

Twenty-eight years later, the plot of land was purchased by another founding father of West Plains, William J. Zorn. Zorn was a prominent merchant and banker, and contributed immeasurably to the cultural life of the fledgling settlement. He managed an opera house for more than twenty years. He also owned one of the area's first newspapers. In 1903, William Zorn built the house which is now home to the Community Arts Center.  Since the time of his ownership, the Yellow House has been a landmark in the downtown area. 


Read more about the history of the Yellow HouseThe Yellow House, As We Knew It  by Dana and Micky Leake