Eureka Springs History
Spring Street at the turn of the century


Q:   It seems some of the streets here change names as you drive along them, and the locals have their own names for many of them. Why is that?
A:   The original streets in Eureka Springs were Indian and animal trails. Many of today's streets have just evolved from the trails, and, although attempts were made to lay out streets on paper, some of them simply never happened, or because of the terrain, were abandoned. In 1893, three street surveys were put together to make one the Armstrong, the Riley, and the Clayton. In fact, the north end of town is still called "Clayton Survey".

Q:   Where is Planer Hill and how did it get its name?
A:   The long hill on HWY 23N that goes south from downtown and meets HWY 62 is referred to by locals as Planer hill. The name came from a very large plane used by the lumber company to make hardwood floors in sections. It was located where the Eureka Inn sits today.

Q:   Where it Depot Grade?

A:   Hillside is also known as "Depot Grade" as it goes up the hill from the train depot.

Q:   Where is Crescent Grade?
A:   The street sign reads "Crescent Drive" and it goes from Spring Street up past St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church.

Q:   Where is Ellis Grade?
A:   "Ellis Grade" is the street from the Child Development Center or Harmon Park up to Prospect Street where, on the left, you'll see the Crescent Hotel. The blue house on the corner was Dr. Ellis' home. It was later known as Katy's Corner and, even later, it became the original Victorian Sampler. Sanborn's 1909 map shows Ellis Grade - but with the name Glen Avenue.

Q:   What was "The Boulevard"?
A:   Spring Street from Crescent Spring (where the Presbyterian Church is in the middle of the fork of Hillside and Spring) on to Ellis Grade used to be called "The Boulevard".

one of Eureka's famous rock walls Q:   When were the rock retaining walls built?
A:   Most of them went up in the 1880's and most sources claim that 54 miles of them exist.

Q:   How do you find your way through the Historic District?
A:   The best way is to ignore all the street signs since, according to the local Post Office, the Historic Loop changes names 7 times between the Family Medical Center and the Crescent Hotel alone.

Just follow the signs that say "Historic Loop (old 62B)". It will take you on about a 2 mile tour of the business district, Victorian homes, and other residential areas from HWY 62 and back. This loop was called HWY 62B until the late 1980's when the state took their signs down and turned the road over to the city. New street signs were put up by the city declaring old 62B the "Historic Loop."

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