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Experience some serenity ~ Blue Spring

Monday, July 28, 2008

(Photo)
Blue Spring Heritage Center offers many ways to get connected to nature, to history, even to each other. [Order this photo]
The Blue Spring Heritage Center combines extraordinary beauty and a rich cultural experience. Located just a few minutes west of Eureka Springs on U.S. Highway 62, this attraction is built around Blue Spring, which pours 38 million gallons of cold, clear water each day into its trout-filled lagoon.

Blue Spring captures the rich history of the Ozark region, from American Indian journeys and early settler life to prehistoric civilization.There is evidence of an old mill powered by the spring and other remnants of community centered on the water.

With exquisite arrays of plants and flowers, this site has served as a tourist attraction since 1948.

In 1993, 33 acres were transformed into the Eureka Springs Gardens. In 2003, the rich history of the land was blended with the beauty of the Gardens to become the Blue Spring Heritage Center. Artifacts, old photos, a new historic film explaining the significance of the Blue Spring site, and the walkways through the natural world all await visitors.

Visit the historic bluff shelter, now on the National Register of Historic Places. Walk on ground that nurtured the Cherokee people during the Trail of Tears. Connect with the natural beauty of the native gardens.

The short movie is a great place to start, and it runs every 12 minutes throughout the day. The theater also serves as a museum, highlighting valuable information about the history of the spring, gardens, bluff shelter and other points of interest. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the region and the evolution of Blue Spring.

This water source has provided energy and power, and the water became a magnet for activity that fed the spirit, healed physical and emotional wounds, and helped build a community.

American Indian tribes put their differences aside when they entered the spring area, since it was considered sacred ground. For thousands of years, American Indian elders have told stories of visits to Blue Spring and the important ceremonies held in the bluff shelter that served not only as a refuge, but also a sacred place for ritual.

The Bluff Shelter at Blue Spring is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the early 1840s, Blue Spring Mill was built 300 feet downstream from the spring, tapping the water's flow to grind corn. In 1903, a new mill was built, combining a sawmill, grist mill and flour mill three stories high. Although most of the building was removed in 1943, the turbine still remains as a reminder of days past.

Many couples choose to marry at Blue Spring, which offers wonderful settings for picturesque, romantic ceremonies. The sites range from intimate little gazebos nestled in the flowers to the beautiful Spring Terrace surrounding Blue Spring, where as many as 500 guests can share in the joy of the occasion. Several of the sites will accommodate receptions as well.

More information on weddings or other activities at Blue Spring is available at (479) 253-9244 or at www.bluespringheritage.com.

You can also check the website to see "what's blooming" from month to month.

A gift shop offers American Indian and handcrafted items unique to the Ozark Region, pottery, artwork, books, music, crafts and much more.



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