Sugarloaf Creek where it flowed into the White River when a steamboat first arrived in June 1851. The people reportedly chose to name the settlement Dubuque after hearing that Dubuque, Iowa, was the hometown of the steamboat pilot who stopped there. A road to Carrollton (Carroll County) was completed by 1832, and a post office was established at Dubuque on May 12, 1854. By that time, the settlement had grown to include two stores, a saloon, a blacksmith, two doctors, a grist mill, and horse races. During the Civil War, though, Dubuque withered away. In 1870, the entire township (including the growing town of Lead Hill) had a population of 827, including two African Americans.
The history of the land changed after World War II when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building a series of dams to control flooding on the White River and to generate hydroelectric power. Lead Hill was located in the lowland that would become Bull Shoals Lake, and citizens were required to move. Most relocated to the new town of Lead Hill on nearby higher ground, but the towns of South Lead Hill and Sugarloaf were both created at this time. Sugarloaf was situated on the site of the former settlement of Dubuque. Bull Shoals Dam was begun in 1947 and completed in 1952, and Bull Shoals Lake quickly became an attraction for tourists.
Developer Henry W. Dietz converted the town of Sugarloaf into a second-class city in the 1960s. He succeeded in incorporating Diamond City on June 7, 1960, although Diamond City and Sugarloaf were not officially consolidated until May 5, 1966. Surrounded by Bull Shoals Lake on three sides (with Lead Hill to the south), Diamond City is best known for its many fishing spots. Several lakeside resorts draw tourists to the city, and the population is said to swell significantly during fishing season. The Diamond Hills Country Club and its golf course south of the city are also major attractions. The city has a Lutheran church, a Methodist church, and a Bible church. Diamond City has never had a school system. Children who live in Diamond City attend Lead Hill schools.
Although the City has retained its own zip code 72630 for P.O. Box addresses, it is a substation of Lead Hill. The City is currently taking steps to see that the entire City carries the zip code of 72630 even though it will remain a substation of Lead Hill.
The Dr. Ralph Bowers and Tommy Donoho Bull Shoals Lake Nursery Pond on Old Rt. 14 located between Lead Hill and Diamond City has been in operation since 2007. Hundreds of thousands of young crappie and walleye swim just outside the Sugarloaf arm of Bull Shoals Lake, waiting to boost the population and keep anglers happy for years to come.
“The plan is to stock walleye every third year”, according to Jeremy Risley, AGFC fisheries biologist in Mountain. “Crappie are stocked during other years.” In 2014, the pond was stocked with 200 adult crappie, which produced hundreds of thousands of fingerlings. Risley estimates that about half a million walleye fingerlings and 300,000 crappie fingerlings have been stocked through the pond since it was established in 2007. “50,000 walleye were released this year before the flood took over the pond. Other species are brought in by truck,” Risley stated.
In 2013 a cell tower was added to bring the City to the 21st century in cell capability and also provided the Volunteer fire department with a monthly rental for the tower allowing them to build a much needed fire station for their large engines.
A mile and a half of streets were paved through a grant obtained by the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The plan is to continue with a program of paving streets to create loops to the highway.
At a site that once was the northernmost steamboat stop on the White River, Diamond City is now a center for tourism on the shores of Bull Shoals Lake, with many lakeside weekend homes belonging to families from Harrison (Boone County) and other parts of Arkansas. Diamond City is also home to many retirees from other states. Aside from Harrison, which is the county seat, Diamond City is the largest city in Boone County.
The Osage hunted in the White River valley when the United States first acquired this land in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Even after the Osage signed treaties with the U.S. government, which moved them farther west, the area that would become Boone County remained sparsely settled. A small settlement was beginning to develop on West