History lives in Eureka Springs

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Cora Pinkley Call had a cabin especially for writing, that cabin now has been rebuilt next to the Eureka Springs Historical Museum.

Eureka Springs takes its history seriously. In the historic district, if you even want to paint your house, you have to ask approval from a commission, to make sure the colors you choose are historically accurate. Yes, it can be a hassle, but the town is a treasure, and preservation is a must.

  And of course, when you mention preservation, you're ready to turn to the Eureka Springs Historical Museum, where the town's history is carefully catalogued and preserved. Ask the people who work there a question, and you'll be able to share their sense of being on a first-name basis with the town founders.

  The springs built this town, back in the Victorian era. Although pollution has rendered the springs unfit for drinking, the springs around town remain an attractive reminder of their original importance to the town. A walking tour of the springs gives a real feeling of the role the springs played in this town's history. And while you're out strolling, take a closer look at the details which characterize Victorian architecture. Some of the gingerbread which decorates the porches may seem excessive, but the craftsmanship speaks of an era in which a carpenter took the same pride in his work that an artist would take in a sculpture.

  Here's a little historical suggestion that will take you time-traveling. Stop into the courthouse downtown. Imagine the history this building has seen! If court is in session on the top floor, slip in quietly and imagine what this room was like on a summer afternoon, with the windows open, and jurors fanning themselves in the sultry heat.

  History is everywhere you look, from the limestone sidewalks to the tips of turrets. And if you really want to get historic, look at the geologic history of this area. At one time, this part of the world was at the bottom of a sea. It has since slowly risen, but you can pick up rocks on a Kings River gravel bar containing a variety of fossils of aquatic creatures.

  Blue Spring Heritage Center has an abundance of information on the earliest settlers in this area, the Indians whose presence here dates back almost 10,000 years. So whatever your era of interest, immerse yourself in the kind of historic studies that will provide you with an unforgettable experience!

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