Looking Back

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Photo courtesy of Eureka Springs

Historical Museum

This week, we’ll focus on love. When

I think of love, I think of the epitome of

love, Louis and Elsie Freund. They had

such a love for the arts, Eureka Springs

and, most importantly, one another.

In 1936, an aspiring artist named

Louis Freund met a lovely young woman

named Elsie Bates. He was quite taken

with her, but he said, “I didn’t know how

to become acquainted. So I asked her

to paint with me.” Three years later

with $300 in the bank, the two married

in Eureka Springs and started a life

together, sharing their love of art with

the community. In that same year, they

purchased Hatchet Hall on Steele Street.

It became a summer art school, before

and after World War II. For years, this

neighborhood was an artists’ colony, with

Elsie and Louis as the focal points. Both

nationally known artists, they worked

tirelessly to save Eureka’s old buildings.

They were instrumental in getting Eureka

Springs on the National Register of Historic

Places in 1970.

Louis and Elsie passed away in 1999

and 2001, respectively. But their love

lives on in all of us, and our community.—

Stephanie Stodden, Museum

Operations Manager

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: