Thursday, July 9, 2009
Summer Escapes #8 - Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Nestled in the beautiful rolling hills and mountains of the Arkansas Ozarks, Eureka Springs is a major summer destination for visitors from around the world.
The charming little town literally drips with Victorian history and charm and is the per capita wedding capital of the nation. More people get married in Eureka Springs each year, in fact, than actually live in the town.
Founded as a resort community during the late 1800s to serve guests who came in hopes that the numerous springs flowing from the Ozarks held curative powers. Numerous bathhouses were built and the magnificent Crescent Hotel dates back to those days as well. Much of the downtown architecture is beautifully preserved and the entire downtown district thrives with specialty shops, inns, restaurants, galleries and more.
Eureka Springs is home to what may well be America's "most haunted" hotel. The historic Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 and, as it does today, originally welcomed guests. During the early 1900s, however, it was converted into a fraudulent "cancer clinic" by the notorious "Dr." Norman Baker. He bilked his patients of over $4 million for a fake cancer cure, watching many of them die in the process. It is said that many of their restless spirits still roam the halls of the hotel to this day.
Eureka Springs is also home to numerous other attractions including the Blue Spring Heritage Center, the ES&NA Railway, Thorncrown Chapel and many others. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/eurekaindex.