Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Eureka Springs, Arkansas
settlement_type = City

imagesize =
image_caption = Main Street downtown Eureka Springs

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Carroll County and the state of Arkansas

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Arkansas
subdivision_name2 = Carroll
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
established_date =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 18
area_total_sq_mi = 6.9
area_land_km2 = 17.6
area_land_sq_mi = 6.8
area_water_km2 = 0.4
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1
elevation_ft = 1260
elevation_m = 384
population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 2278
population_metro =
population_density_km2 = 126.6
population_density_sq_mi = 330.1
timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
latd = 36 |latm = 24 |lats = 11 |latNS = N
longd = 93 |longm = 44 |longs = 18 |longEW = W
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 72631-72632
area_code = 479
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 05-22240
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0048926
footnotes =
website =

Eureka Springs is a city in Carroll County, Arkansas, United States, one of the two county seats for the county.GR|6 It is located in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 2,350.cite web | date = June 21 2006 | url = | title = Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Arkansas | format = CSV | work = 2005 Population Estimates | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division | accessmonthday = November 16 | accessyear = 2006] The entire town of Eureka Springs is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Arkansas.


Eureka Springs is a unique Victorian resort village in Carroll County, Arkansas which has its own culture and lifestyle. The city has steep winding streets filled with Victorian-style cottages and manors. The old commercial section of the city has an alpine character, with an extensive streetscape of well-preserved Victorian buildings. The buildings are primarily constructed of local stone and lie along streets that curve around the hills and rise and fall with the topography in a five-mile long loop. Some buildings have street-level entrances on more than one floor. The local Catholic Church boasts a street-level entrance to its bell tower. Eureka Springs has been selected as one of "America's Distinctive Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Most of the stores and shops in the commercial district are locally owned and managed. They consist primarily of specialty shops featuring local crafts, antiques, the works of local artists, and standard Ozark tourist fare. The downtown area also features various coffee shops and sidewalk cafés. The town has more than 20 art galleries in the downtown area. The city maintains a trolley service providing transportation around town for the tourists who visit the town.

The city is dominated by a 7-story tall, 2 million pound, white concrete statue of Jesus known as the Christ of the Ozarks, erected privately in 1966 as part of a planned religious theme park. The statue sits across the valley from the downtown area and is visible from most parts of the lakes and rivers in the immediate area. The city is home to "The Great Passion Play." The play is "America's #1 attended Outdoor Drama," according to the Outdoor Institute of Drama at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Celebrating its 40th season in 2008, the play will welcome its 7.5 millionth visitor.

"Ripley's Believe It or Not" has noted numerous details about the city: The Basin Park Hotel is built on a hill, so that people can enter from ground level at all eight stories. The Palace Bath House has the first neon sign west of the Mississippi River. One building connects to three different streets at three different levels and has three addresses. The Catholic Church is the only church that is entered through the bell tower. The town's winding, hilly, curved streets form 16 "S's", a large "O", and numerous "U's" and "V's," yet the town has no perpendicular street crossings.

It is home to one of few outdoor staircases not attached to a street that is considered a street by the United States Postal Service.Fact|date=April 2008 Having no level spot in town large enough for a rodeo, circus, or baseball diamond was another fact that Ripley included. (A stadium was built in 1948 after an area had been made level enough, but this was torn down and an athletic field, known as Van Pelt Stadium, was built in the 1980s).


The Eureka Springs area had a reputation as a destination for people seeking health well before the first European American pioneers reached Arkansas. Several old Native American legends tell of a Great Healing Spring in the Eureka Springs area.

This reputation continued as Europeans arrived on the scene and the waters of the springs gained a reputation of having magical powers. Within a short time Eureka Springs was transformed into a flourishing city, spa, and tourist destination. Dr. Alvah Jackson first located the spring and claimed that the waters of Basin Spring had cured his eye ailments in 1856. Dr. Jackson established a hospital in a local cave during the American Civil War and used the waters from Basin Spring to treat his patients. After the war Jackson marketed the spring waters as "Dr. Jackson's Eye Water". The Ozarka Water Company was later formed in Eureka Springs.

In 1879 Judge J.B. Saunders, a friend of Jackson, claimed that his crippling disease was cured by the spring waters. Saunders started promoting Eureka Springs to friends and family members across the State and created a boomtown. Within a period of little more than one year, the city grew from a rural spa village to a major city of 10,000 people.

There are stories of Jesse James and his gang using the area as a hide out. Carry A. Nation moved here towards the end of her life and founded Hatchet Hall, which is a museum today. Bonnie and Clyde also went through Eureka Springs and robbed one of the banks.

On 14 February 1880 Eureka Springs was incorporated as a city. Thousands of visitors came to the springs based on Saunders' promotion and covered the area with tents and shanties. Late in 1881 the town reached a population of 10,000. In 1881 Eureka Springs enjoyed the status of Arkansas's fourth largest city.

After his term as a Reconstruction Governor, Powell Clayton moved to heavily Unionist Eureka Springs and began promoting the city and its commercial interests. Clayton promoted the town as a retirement community for the wealthy. Eureka Springs soon became known for gracious living and a wealthy lifestyle.

In 1882 the Eureka Springs Improvement Company was formed to attract a railroad to the city. With completion of the railroad, Eureka Springs established itself as one of the premier vacation resorts of the Victorian era. It had thousands of homes and commercial enterprises constructed in only two years. The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 and the Basin Park Hotel in 1905. These many Victorian buildings have been well preserved, forming a coherent streetscape that has been recognized for its quality. The entire town of Eureka Springs is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The city is also the site of Thorncrown Chapel, an award-winning contemporary building designed by E. Fay Jones and constructed in 1980. The chapel was selected for the 2006 "Twenty-Five Year Award" by the American Institute of Architects, which recognizes structures that have had significant influence on the profession. Because of the special nature of its high quality of architecture, the chapel was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Lifestyle and people

Eureka Springs has a unique eclectic mix of people and lifestyles. The city is proud of its reputation as a safe haven for artists and gays. It was home to WPA-era muralist Louis Freund (one of his murals may be viewed at the Bank of Eureka Springs), jeweler Elsa Freund (named one of the foremost jewelry designers of the 1950s), novelist Constance Wagner, painter Tommy Thomas, and many others. Later, culinary writer and children's book author Crescent Dragonwagon, dubbed by "USA Today" "the most interesting person in Eureka Springs", made her home there for 33 years. With her late husband Ned Shank, she co-founded both the first bed-and-breakfast inn in the town, Dairy Hollow House, and later the non-profit Writer's Colony at Dairy Hollow.

The town has also remained a premier destination for religious tourists visiting various Christian-themed attractions, including the Little Portion Hermitage [] , founded by prominent Christian musician John Michael Talbot [] .

The Eureka Springs, Ark., Domestic Partnership Registry [] began Friday, June 22, 2007. It is the only such registry in Arkansas and one of the few in the South.


Eureka Springs hosts numerous unique events. The town is a popular destination for artists, motorcyclists, ufologists, poets, gays, and sculptors from around the world.

Blues (with such names as Taj Mahal, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles and Keb' Mo' performing); jazz, folk, and classical music, are each celebrated with a weekend dedicated to the particular genre each year. A well-attended poetry festival is also held each year. There is extensive local theater, with many productions held at the large stone auditorium, built in the city's downtown in 1929 and inaugurated with a concert by John Phillip Sousa. Four annual gay and lesbian events called "Diversity Weekends" are listed at The city also boasts an annual UFO conference and several motorcycle and auto shows, including a Corvette weekend in April and a Volkswagen Weekend in August.

The film "Pass the Ammo", featuring Annie Potts, Tim Curry, and Bill Paxton, was filmed in the city, with the Auditorium featured in several scenes. The movie "Chrystal", with Billy Bob Thornton, was also filmed in Eureka Springs. The movie "Elizabethtown" staring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst was also filmed here. The 1982 mini series "The Blue and the Gray" was also filmed around the area. the SciFi Channels reality series Ghost Hunters investigated the Crescent Hotel during the second season on episode 13.

Every Sunday during the summer, The Lucky 13 Starlight Cinema hosts movie nights, creating the opportunity to watch movies that are projected on the wall outside of the Basin Spring Bath House. Locals and tourists alike gather for pre-film activities, fun, prizes, socializing, and movies.

Each May, Eureka Springs kicks off the summer with the May Fine Arts Festival, a celebration of the art, music, and creativity that is one of the defining features of the Eureka community.The festival begins in the first weekend in May with the Artrageous Parade, a collection of all things artsy. Some additional events during the festival include:The Gallery Stroll, which takes place during the first three Saturdays of the month, allows viewers to tour the galleries in town and meet the artists featured within each gallery. Yard Art, where locals craft all types of displays within their yards. These creations are constructed by all ages, with themes varying from serious political and cultural statements to whimsical, fun arrangements.Every weekend, Basin Park hosts Music in the Park, an opportunity for live music and festivities. [Events and Festivals. ( Retrieved 9/24/08]


Eureka Springs is located at coor dms|36|24|11|N|93|44|18|W|city (36.403068, -93.738450)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.9 square miles (17.9 km²), of which, 6.8 square miles (17.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (2.02%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 2,278 people, 1,119 households, and 569 families residing in the city. The population density was 336.2 people per square mile (129.7/km²). There were 1,301 housing units at an average density of 192.0/sq mi (74.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.94% White, 0.04% Black or African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. 3.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 1,119 households, of which 19.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.4% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.1% are classified as non-families by the United States Census Bureau. Of 1,119 households, 54 are unmarried partner households: 36 heterosexual, 10 same-sex male, and 8 same-sex female households. 41.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.97 and the average family size was 2.64.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.2% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 33.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 81.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,547, and the median income for a family was $40,341. Males had a median income of $27,188 versus $17,161 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,439. About 4.4% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

* Blue Springs Heritage Center
* Onyx Cave
* Thorncrown Chapel
* World's Largest Tuned Musical Windchime
* The Great Passion Play
* Christ of the Ozarks
* Museum of Earth History
* Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway
* Quigleys Castle


Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce []

External links

* [] Eureka Springs Official Promotional Website and Events Calendar
* [] Eureka Springs Artist Registry - Works and Biographies of regional artists
* [ City of Eureka Springs City Government Website]
* [ Wind Chime Puts Arkansas Town in Guiness Records] from National Public Radio

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