Bunker Hill was established between 1865 and 1870 by Mr. Bunker, who operated a lumber mill on the site. The village population peaked at about 100 people and included a schoolhouse that served as a church on Sundays. In 1900, the last of the residents left leaving the town deserted.
In 1925, a retired newspaper editor and cigar maker from Sedalia, E.T. Behrens began camping at the site after doctors gave him only six months to live. He camped there from 1925 to 1928 and bought the land in 1929. At that time, he created the Bunker Hill Resort. He continued making cigars in Sedalia in the winter and ran Bunker Hill Resort in the summer. Mr. Beherns operated the resort from 1929 to 1947.
He befriended George Wattles, the editor of the Mountain View Standard, the local paper. Mr. Wattles was a former superintendent of schools. In May 1947, Mr. Behrens asked Mr. Wattles to write MSTA about leaving Bunker Hill to the association.
In June 1947, five MSTA employees visited Bunker Hill. At the end of tier visit, E.T. Behrens asked for a copy of MSTA’s constitution and copies of our publications as well as a deed for him to sign.
On July 23, 1947 Mr. Behrens officially signed over Bunker Hill Resort to MSTA and educators from across the state have enjoyed staying in the original cabins on the 2,080 acres on the banks of the Jacks Fork River ever since.
Bunker Hill has been featured numerous times in MSTA’s School and Community magazine, like this issue from 1978 that interviews then caretakers Jack and Betty Clark.
In 2013 the property was transferred to Friends of Bunker Hill, a non-profit organization created to support, protect and improve Bunker Hill Retreat.