During the Civil War, Confederate General Mark Perin Lowrey moved his family to this area to keep them safe from the Union armies. After the end of the Civil War, Lowrey decided to settle in the area permanently. In 1873 Lowrey founded Blue Mountain Female Institute (now known as Blue Mountain College), and over the next several years many families settled in the growing town. In 1877, the town of Blue Mountain was incorporated.
Early businesses in Blue Mountain were a steam sawmill, a general store, a mercantile store and a doctor’s office. In 1886, the Ripley railroad line was routed through Blue Mountain on the way to Pontotoc. A boy’s school, called Mississippi Heights Academy, existed from 1904 to 1943. Much of the downtown area today is quiet, but a coffee shop was recently opened in the old bank. Blue Mountain College remains the centerpiece of this small town in the hills.