Joseph Thompson brought his family to Marshall County in 1836, when they settled in Thompson Falls in 1840. Joseph’s son, Stephen Tuttle Thompson, in 1857 was the first settler to build a house on land that became Arab. He established the local Post Office in 1882 and submitted the name of his thirteen-year-old son Arad for the name of the town. Due to the misreading of the “d” for a “b”, the town became Arab instead.
Prior to the advent of the home movie camera and the ubiquitousness of the camera phone, there was the local film. This cultural phenomenon, produced across the country from the 1890s to the 1950s, gave ordinary people a chance to be on the silver screen without leaving their hometowns. Through these movies, residents could see themselves in the same theaters where they saw major Hollywood motion pictures. Traveling filmmakers plied their trade in small towns and cities, where these films were received by locals as being part of the larger cinema experience.