It all started with Native American Indians and abundant spring water. Over the years, as more people heard about the ‘healing waters’ of Eureka Springs, the wilderness town became commercial when it turned into a thriving health resort. Folks from all over the country came on horseback and in carriages. When horses were replaced by horsepower and Highway 62 was built, Eureka Springs zoomed in the auto age with quaint roadside motor courts and cabins – many that still exist. A natural industry began in Eureka Springs with Ozarka Water Company, now owned by the Pepsi Cola company. The springs are still very healing even though they are no longer potable. Over 65 natural springs have been identified throughout the city. Many have been enhanced as beautiful gardens and pocket parks. The town has burned, flooded, burned again, flooded again and made it through the Civil War. Magnificent architecture from Victorian to contemporary can be found all over town. There are original buildings still standing on 75 miles of hand stacked limestone walls.
Carrie Nation lived here (but the drunks ran her out of town). Louis and Elsie Freund lived here and were instrumental in creating the art and preservation movement that still thrives.
Since being discovered by Native American Indians, Eureka Springs has been – and is – a popular health resort, an art colony, a little bit of heaven for hippies and naturalists, a thriving tourist destination, a great place to be an entrepreneur, a choice location for a leisure retirement and a rare study in architecture and nature.
We encourage you to visit the Eureka Springs Historic Museum to get the full, rich history of “The City That Water Built”.