Eureka Springs History
Blue Spring


Q:   The name of this town lets us know that there were once springs here, but what kind were they?
A:   They were cold springs, andwere known for their purity.

Q:   Who originally found the springs?
A:   Although Indians used them for centuries and this was sacred ground to many tribes, the white man did not find them until 1856. Fame did not come until 1879.

Q:   Do they still exist?
A:   The areas still exist but the individual spring's flow may have changed and the deterioration of the surroundings is obvious with some.

Q:   How many are there?
A:   As you read through historical sources the number finally caps at 63 in the city limits.

Q:   Which one was the most popular?
A:   That would be the Basin Spring which was known earlier as the Indians' Healing Spring. It is on Spring Street in the park with the band shell.

Q:   Where are they located?
A:   They are all over town, but particularly along the Historical Loop, and many have a small garden or park area around them.

Mystic Spring Q:   Who owns them?
A:   Some are privately owned, but most are owned by the city as "Spring Reservations."

Q:   Are they in use today?
A:   No, not for drinking.

Q:   Will they ever be usable again?
A:   Since the springs are self-cleaning, many should again be usable once the problems with the old sewer lines and septic systems have been solved.

Q:   Did they really heal people?
A:   After reading the many testimonials that appeared daily in the paper, one can't help but be impressed. People also came here and were not cured and many died. Most of those were believed to have gotten here "too late."

If it is taken into consideration that medicine at that time was almost primitive, and that changes in air, climate, exercise, and mental attitude can work wonders, one can believe that many were cured - some on faith alone. Looked at from a different perspective, "cures" had to have happened regularly or the town would never have been so upbeat. I believe that, one way or another, the springs were responsible for many, many cures.

Q:   What diseases were cured?

Kidney TroublesBladder TroublesLiver Complaints Stomach Ailments
Intestinal Tract Diseases Skin Diseases Bright's Disease Rheumatism
Rheumatic Gout Paralysis Diabetes General Debility
Women's Diseases Scrofula Granulated Eye Lids Eczema
Hay Fever Asthma Catarrhal Troubles Insomnia
Dropsy Nervous Prostration  

Crescent Spring

Q:   Was the water ever tested?
A:   Yes, but because testing was not very sophisticated by today's standards, the results don't tell us very much.

Q:   Was water from Eureka Springs ever entered in competition?

A:   Yes, Little Eureka Springs' water won prizes at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

Q:   Did all the springs heal the same diseases or problems?
A:   No, some were better known to cure certain ailments.

Q:   How did Magnetic Spring get its name?
A:   It was supposed to magnetize any metal object with which it came in contact.

Q:   Did anybody ever bottle the water?
A:   Yes, the first white man to find it, bottled it and called it "Dr. Jackson's Eye Water." Many people sold it after that - it was even shipped out in rail cars. (See Ozarka Water Company)

Note: The Ozarka Water Label has since been purchased by the Perrier Corporation.

Eureka Water Company Q:   Were the springs really radioactive?
A:   Much was written about photographic test evidence that showed the predominance of Beta rays in the water. Radium, then known as a powerful healing agent, was supposed to have been responsible for the radioactivity.

Q:   Did the city do anything to protect the springs?
A:   Yes. The city installed and maintained ultraviolet ray sterilizers at all the principal springs to insure purity, but these are no longer in existence.

Q:   Were Eureka's springs ever compared with others?
A:   Yes, with the Gastein in Austria.

Kindly provided by Susan Schaefer. All Rights Reserved. Information presented here is used with the permission of the author.