Little Rock City Guide
Although referred to collectively as "Little Rock," the capital of Arkansas is actually comprised of two cities separated by the Arkansas River. However, the distinction between Little Rock and North Little Rock is primarily geographical, since most people consider the two cities to be a single, united community.
Little Rock takes its name from a small rock formation on the southern bank of the Arkansas River. Popular legend has it that French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bernard de la Harpe named the stone outcropping La Petite Roche (the little rock) when he landed there in 1722. La Harpe built a trading post near the site to conduct business with the Quapaw natives in the area. In 1812, a fur trapper named William Lewis built his residence near "the little rock". The settlement grew quickly as others followed suit, and in 1820, the town site of Little Rock was surveyed and staked. In 1821, Little Rock became the official capitol of the Arkansas Territory.