Early Eureka Springs History-Part 1

January 30th, 2013 by Sam Feldman

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is rich in colorful history. From time to time, we will devote a blog to some of the more interesting aspects, a lot of which you can learn about first hand on a visit to Eureka. As you walk this beautiful town, you will come across historical plaques and photo placards that allow you to look at a site in person, to see how it has changed. Here is a photo of Mud St. (now known as Main St.), which is quite different from what you see today:

Mud St. below Basin avenue 1880

Verbiage that explains this photo:  “Mud Street” is shown taking a rather deep grade downward. The building at right just past the City Drug Store shows its “pilings” that hold it in place. All the buildings on the right side are suspended across the Leatherwood (Creek) Branch which “Mud Street” runs parallel to. The buildings at left butt up to limestone walls that holds up Spring Street fronting the Basin Spring.

More than a dozen laborers and onlookers are in this Main Street scene.” This photo was reportedly taken between 1882 and 1884.

Today, folks find it hard to believe that there is a creek that runs the length of Main Street, under all those buildings (on the right), including the Courthouse and the Auditorium. You can go into the basement of the Auditorium and open trap doors that look down into the creek. “Mud St.” was built up a level in the late 1800′s, due to the flooding of that creek, which caused that street to be very, well… muddy! So there is a whole level of buildings down below street level, most of which are closed off to the public today (but we hope will be opened up in the future, as part of the Underground Tour). For a nice view of one of these buildings underground (and a fabulous lunch!), go eat at the Mud St. Cafe.

Remember, it’s a lovely walk from Bridgeford House Bed and Breakfast to the historical downtown, with many sights to see along the way, so come join us soon!

Warmest regards,

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

 

 

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