Long awaited, it appears that the Eureka Springs Underground will finally be opening in March 2010. For those of you that have never visited Eureka Springs before – or maybe even for some of you that have – you may not know that we have a hidden level of tunnels, abandoned storefronts and passages under Main St. and Spring St.
The story goes that in the late 1800′s, when the town was growing by leaps and bounds and folks were cutting down the trees right and left, Main Street would flood with mud runoff every time it rained (and would eventually became known as “Mud Street”). The solution to this at the time was to build up the street one level, which created a whole level of shops underneath the current level of shops, which have been mostly abandoned all this time. One place you can see a good example of the stonework and beams that are underground is at the Mud St. Cafe, one of our favorite places in town to eat. It is located at the intersection of Main St. and Spring St. and has a plaque outside their entrance that tells of the building up of the street. It is one of very few places that is accessible. (Little known fact, there is also a very active creek that runs under Mud St. Cafe, the auditorium and the courthouse on that side – so it’s under the sub-basement, which is under the underground part, which is under the shops and restaurants…we go deep in Eureka Springs!)
On Upper Spring St., where Bridgeford House is located, you can see all along our side of the street the wall that currently holds up Spring St. We believe the street was built up even this far up on Spring St., which makes the layout of the Bridgeford House make more sense. Our garden is a full level below the street and the door that now opens into our dining room from that garden level we believe must have been the original front door to the original parlor (that dining room has one of only two original fireplaces and the other one is covered up). Our current front door is just a few steps up from the modern level of the street and opens up to our current parlor. Two of the five B&B guest rooms, which were the original bedrooms in the house, open up right off that parlor. We don’t believe the original front door would have been right near the bedrooms! Victorians were way too uptight for that!
Come to Eureka this season and take a tour of this brand-new Eureka-scape! We’ll make sure you get tickets!
Jeff and Nadara (Sam) – and Sophie, too!