I've answered the "Why is it named Eureka Springs" question in a different post. I would encourage visitors to come to Eureka Springs in the Spring or Autumn. In the Spring, the dogwood blooms, and it's lovely, but the Autumn is my favorite. When I was growing up there, my grandmother called it the "Flaming Fall Review." Not as brilliant as New England, perhaps, but lovely soft Fall colors adorn the hills. The Ozarks are the oldest mountains in the US, so they are now worn down and not as high or jagged as the Rockies, but they are gentle hills, and welcoming. Watch out for the curvy roads, though!
Fondest memory: I miss the people I knew when I lived there. One was Mrs. Evans, who was an old hill woman who helped "birth" my grandmother. Mrs. Evans didn't work for us; she didn't work for anyone. But she came to visit 2-3 times a week, and while she was "visiting" she cleaned the house, washed dishes, and cooked for us. When she was ready to leave, my grandmother would look her in the eye and say, "Mrs. Evans, it was so nice of you to come and visit. Do you suppose you could come again next week?" (as this direct eye contact continued, my grandmother would put money in Mrs. Evans' apron pocket) Mrs. Evans always replied, "Why, yes, Mrs Jackson, I believe I can do that." No mention of the money was ever made. Mrs Evans lived in a log cabin her father had built for her and her mother before he went off to fight in the Confederacy. It had no electricity, gas, nor running water. She had to walk down to the bottom of the hill, and lug water back to her house. She lived on the steepest street in Eureka, which is saying something! She always wore a long dress, a full apron, high top shoes, and a sunbonnet. She was so old her face looked like a road map, and she had the bluest eyes I've ever seen. She knew all the old hill rememdies. When my friend had ringworm, the doctors tried everything, and nothing would cure it. It got in her hair and even in her eyes. Finally, Mrs. Evans said to her mother, "Now, Vinnie Ream, if you would rub the juice of a green walnut on that child's ringworm, it would be gone in 3 days." After she had left the room, Vinnie Ream said to my mother, "I'm not going to do that!" Two days later, Vinnie Ream came back and said, "Dottie, can I borrow some of your green walnuts?" And my friend's ringworm was gone in 3 days.
Someone asked this question, but the reply was not at all an answer to the question. Eureka Springs was named during the 1800s when a white explorer who was looking for a cure for various illnesses discovered an Indian tribe camped by one of the springs. He asked why they stayed there, and they told him that the chief's daughter had been blind until she bathed her eyes in the water of the spring, and her sight was restored. The explorer cried out, "Eureka! I have found it!" And the town that sprang up there was called Eureka Springs for that reason. I spent my childhood in Eureka Springs, and remember a lot about the history there. My memories of the town are magical.
Fondest memory: One of my best memories is walking. Even when I was little, I walked everywhere, and there was no fear or problem. The town is so steep (it is built on a bowl, with the business district at the bottom of the bowl and the homes built into the sides of mountains) that when it snowed, everyone parked their cars and walked! To me, the earth there is magical; when my soul feels depleted, I can go there and walk, and feel energized. When I was growing up, Eureka Springs was an artists' and writers' colony. Many of my mother's friends were people who had lived elsewhere and been diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and who had visited Eureka and decided that if they had limited time left, they wanted to spend it in Eureka. However, because of the healing water there (when I lived there, Eureka had the 2nd purest water in the world!), they didn't die! Sadly, the spring that had the purest water is now condemned, as the water is too polluted to drink. A real tragedy. When we moved away, we would go back every month and bring gallon jugs of water back to our new home for drinking water!
Eureka Springs gets it's name from the natural hot springs that were once the major tourist attraction to this region of Arkansas in the early 1900's. The springs are still there, but no longer used for that purpose. In the photo there is a large hotel built up on the hill that was built specifically for this purpose: to cater to the tourists coming for the natural healing waters of the hot springs. Now the town is more of a honeymooner's/wedding party paradise for those desiring the back woods/rustic feel.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is actually when I was 4, getting a hot apple turnover and enjoying the chill of the fall air with the beautiful colors around me!
Favorite thing: Eureka Springs is a very hilly district. The entire town rests amid the mountains and forests of the White River valley. The trolley system is a slow but efficient method of touring this town, but with over 100 stops the impatient should never board. Use your feet and expect to climb and huff and puff as if you were touring the streets of Stamboul.
Favorite thing: Many historic districts in America are clinging to their very lives. Unless private residents have moved in or modern merchants keep a place alive, too many historic buildings and places of interest suffer a swfit demolition. Across the street from the county courthouse is a building marked "Eagle's Nest," which going by the placard is marked on the National Register of Historic Places. The present list knows no such member, and the present construction teams gutting its interior recognize none of its history.
Favorite thing: Before the age of billboards, high profile advertisers would embellish actual buildings with murals to promote their attractions. Many merchants would not only carve or raise their names in their office facades but would allow painters to coat their building-sides to garner extra attention. Many Victorian towns have since seen such murals sandblasted away in whole or in part, but many at Eureka Springs remain.
Favorite thing: Victorian-era details in its architecture differs widely from the markings we see today. Chiseled lions guarding a foyer. . .advertisements painted on red brick with wide sweeping white letters. . .gold leaf stenciling and frosted glass. These and other details still survive in today's Eureka Springs.
Favorite thing: As in most Victorian-era towns in the United States, Eureka Springs tells its age on countless facades along its historic lanes. Most date from the 1890s but as Eureka Springs began to develop and draw visitors in the 1870s, there are a handful of dates from the decade in between. Expect new tenants below though you might read "bank" or some private name in the entablature.
My favorite thing about Eureka Springs is the winding roads, and victorian homes. The shops are wonderful, and you may want to plan on wanting to spend a lot of money, or I should just say, wanting to buy many things.
Fondest memory: I think just sitting in the towns center in front of the outdoor stage, just watching people. I have many fond memories though. There is this old monestary behind the Crescent hotel, that was so neat to walk through.
Favorite thing: Every time you turn around, Eureka Springs is having a special event or festival of some sort! There are various festivals almost every weekend, and you're sure to find one to suit your fancy; my personal favorite is the intimate Blues Festival in May/June. I've heard high acclaims for their UFO conference held in April. They celebrate most holidays, have various car/cycle festivals from Spring to Fall, have a Jazz Fest in September, and an Ozark Folk Festival in October. To find out when various events are held, go to www.eurekasprings.com or www.eureka-usa.com or www.eurekaspringschamber.com or www.eurekasprings.org (whew)!
Favorite thing: Although Eureka Springs is in the Southern Bible Belt, this village is known for being quite off-beat and open-minded. People who are gay, into alternative spirituality, or into alternative health live and enjoy this town side by side with staunch Christians and the large artist community. Having grown up around San Francisco, I have to say I feel quite at home in this tiny but diverse community. For info about gay-friendly and alternative-type of businesses, look at: www.eurekasprings.com/alternative/ .
Go to the down town area. It feels like you are stepping into an 1890 town. The entire town of Eureka Springs is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fondest memory: Walking the streets of down town and shopping at the endless specialty shops. Shopping and buying tastey snacks and enjoying the atmosphere with my loving wife was a lot of fun.