According to the Arkadelphia Area Chamber of Commerce, the Barkman House was "originally owned by J.E.M. Barkman, son of early Clark County settler Jacob Barkman, this house was constructed by Madison Griffin, who built Magnolia Manor as well. Its ornamentation is known as "Steamboat" or "Carpenter's Gothic." The house was not completely finished when the Civil War began, and local legend reports that piles of lumber were taken from the front yard to build Confederate fortifications. Now owned by Henderson State University, the Barkman House is included in the National Register of Historic Places."
According to the B&B's website, the 9,000 square foot Victorian era home was once home to Captain Charles C Henderson, and began as a small cottage built in 1876. In 1906, the cottage was incorporated into what became known as "The Big House," and was further enlarged in the 1920s.