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Embassy Suites Hot Springs 400 Convention Blvd, Hot Springs, AR
(501) 624-9200
Frazee Walter J 807 W Grand Ave, Hot Springs National Park, AR
(501) 623-1000
Grisham AireCare 209 Buena Vista Rd, Hot Springs National Park, AR
(501) 525-2665
David & David Grocery 100 Arkansas Highway 7, Hot Springs National Park, AR
(501) 623-0064
Dr. Danny R. Haynes, DDS 801 W Grand Ave, Hot Springs, AR
(501) 321-1044
Ethridge Law Firm 835 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR
(501) 318-1900
Bob's Food City 800 Malvern Avenue, Hot Springs, AR
(501) 624-3824
Museum of Contemporary Art 425 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR
(501) 609-9966
Bridges Young Matthews & Drake: Sarver Leslie G 508 Ouachita Ave, Hot Springs, AR
(501) 609-0022
Metropolitan Foods Inc 345 Gulpha Street, Hot Springs, AR
(501) 280-9999
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Costco Business Center Reviewed by: Christine Carlson I called for a price on B&W copies to see if it would be worth my trip from Tempe. However, my final bill was waaaaay higher than the price given me over the phone and there was no price breakdown on
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About Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Springs National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Map showing the location of Hot Springs National Park

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Springs National Park is a United States National Park in centralArkansas adjacent to the city of Hot Springs. Hot Springs Reservationwas initially created by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1832, and the area was made a national park on March 4, 1921.[3] It is the smallest national park by area in the United States. Since Hot Springs National Park is the oldest federal reserve, it was the first to receive its own US quarter in April 2010 as part of the America the Beautiful Quartersseries.

The hot springs flow from the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain, part of the Ouachita Mountain range. In the park, the hot springs have not been preserved in their unaltered state as natural surface phenomena. They have instead been managed to conserve the production of uncontaminated hot water for public use. The mountains within the park are also managed within this conservation philosophy in order to preserve the hydrological system that feeds the springs.

People have used the hot spring water in therapeutic baths for more than 200 years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. While it was a reservation, the area developed into a well-known resort nicknamed The American Spa that attracted not only the wealthy but indigent health seekers from around the world as well.

The park includes portions of downtown Hot Springs, making it one of the most easily visited national parks. There are numerous hiking trails and camping areas. Bathing in spring water is available in approved facilities at extra cost. The entireBathhouse Row area is a National Historic Landmark District that contains the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind inNorth America, including many outstanding examples of Gilded Age architecture. The row's Fordyce Bathhouse serves as the park's visitor center; the Buckstaff and Quapaw are currently the only facilities still operating as bathhouses. Other buildings of the row are currently in various states of interior restoration or are used in other capacities.

The park has become increasingly popular in recent years, and recorded over 1.5 million visitors in 2003, as well as nearly 2.5 million non-recreational visitors.

 

 

 

 

 

Discovery and protection

Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto was the first European to see what Native Americans referred to as the Valley of the Vapors when he and his men reached the area in 1541. Members of many Native American tribes had been gathering in the valley for over 8,000 years to enjoy the healing properties of the thermal springs. Around the 18th century the Caddo settled in the area, followed by the Choctaw, Cherokee, and other tribes. There was agreement among the tribes that they would put aside their weapons and partake of the healing waters in peace while in the valley. The Quapaw lived in the Arkansas River delta area and visited the springs.

 

 

Hot Springs Creek in a lithograph published in 1844. Tufa formations line the right side of the creek.

In 1673 Father Marquette and Jolliet explored the area and claimed it for France. The Treaty of Paris 1763 ceded the land back to Spain; however, in 1800 control was returned to France until the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

In December 1804 George Hunter and William Dunbar made an expedition to the springs, finding a lone log cabin and a few rudimentary shelters used by people visiting the springs for their healing properties. In 1807 Jean Emmanual Prudhomme became the first settler of modern Hot Springs, although after he regained his health following two years of bathing in the hot water and eating local foods, he returned home to Louisiana. Not long afterward John Perciful and Isaac Cates arrived.

Having been placed in a reservation southeast of Hot Springs in the 19th century, on August 24, 1818, the Quapaw Indians ceded the land around the hot springs to the United States in a treaty. After Arkansas became its own territory in 1819, the Arkansas Territorial Legislature requested in 1820 that the springs and adjoining mountains be set aside as a federal reservation. Twelve years later, in 1832, the 22nd United States Congressformed the national reservation, granting federal protection of the thermal waters and giving Hot Springs the honor of being the first “national park” to be designated for such government protection. The Hot Springs Reservation was set aside for public use as a park on June 16, 1880.

 

 

 

 

National Park

Although Hot Springs National Park is the oldest park managed by the National Park System, by act of Congress in 1922, the site's name was officially changed from the Hot Springs Reservation to the Hot Springs National Park. Growing to over 900 acres (360 ha), it included Hot Springs Mountain, North Mountain, West Mountain, Sugar-Loaf Mountain and Whittington Lake Park. It later was expanded to 5,000 acres (2,000 ha).

The springs are all grouped about the base of the Hot Springs Mountain, with a flow well over a half million gallons a day. The hot water is supplied to the various bathhouses with resulting income going to the U.S. Treasury. There are miles of roads and trails over the mountains. The park is open throughout the year.

Big Iron bathhouse (Harper's 1878)

The first bathhouses were really little more than brush huts and log cabins placed over excavations cut in the rocks to receive hot water that flowed from the springs. More elaborate bathing facilities soon developed, with wooden troughs delivering water from hillside springs to bathhouses along the east bank of Hot Springs Creek. Some of the tufa covering the hillside was excavated to accommodate the bathhouses. The narrow street along the west side of the creek was connected to the bathhouses by narrow bridges.

After direct federal supervision was exercised in 1877, major improvements were made. The creek was covered with stone arches, and above a street a hundred feet wide was built. All the squatters were evicted, rubbish cleaned, and a centralized plumbing system was begun. This was completed around 1890. In 1950 central cooling towers limited the maximum temperature to a safe level, so individual bathhouses no longer needed their own cooling systems.

The park operates a public campground at Gulpha Gorge, about two miles (3 km) from downtown Hot Springs.

 

 

 


City of Hot Springs

The city of Hot Springs (incorporated 1851) is governed under State and municipal law. The National Park Service exercises no control or supervision over any matters connected with the city. The city's buildings are as close as across Central Avenue from Bathhouse Row, and has extended beyond the narrow valley in which the springs are located and spreads out over the open plain to the south and east. The climate is good throughout the year. The elevation of the city is 600 feet (180 m) above sea level, with surrounding hills rising another 600 feet. In earlier days the city was a summer resort, but hotels have now long stayed open during the winter due to many northerly patrons escaping the winter cold.

Central Avenue, on left, circa 1900. Many commercial buildings are on west side, across from Bathhouse Row.

During the peak popularity of the hot springs, until the 1950s, the many patients staying for three weeks, six weeks, or longer were a large source of business for the numerous hotels, boarding houses, doctors, and drugstores. As the daily treatments required only an hour or two, the visitors' idle time created opportunities for other businesses in the town.

 

 

 


Bathing customs

It was believed the waters benefited diseases of the skin and blood, nervous affections, rheumatism and kindred diseases, and the "various diseases of women". In the case of tuberculosis and lung diseases, and acute and inflammatory diseases, the use of the waters was considered injurious and in many cases very dangerous.

The earliest bathing procedure consisted of merely reclining in natural pools of hot springs and cool creek water for long periods of time. During the 1820s crude vapor baths stood over the springs, and bathers breathed in the vapors for extended periods of time. Wooden tubs were added to some bathhouses in the 1830s. Physicians began arriving in the 1850s, although many visitors did without their services; visitors remained from one week to two months. After the Civil War a tub bath of 15 to 20 minutes was common.

During the 1870s the bathing regimen became more diverse, and physicians prescribed various types of baths for patients. The period of time for tub baths became six to ten minutes and the time in the steam bath shortened to two minutes, with only one bath a day.

The treatment was by drinking and bathing in the waters, producing a profuse perspiration, which was considered an active agent in fighting disease. The advice of a physician who was familiar with the use of the waters was considered necessary to avoid injury. In many cases medicine was required before using the waters, although it had been observed that the amount of drugs given was "enough to sicken a well man."

The hot baths were usually taken once a day for three weeks, when a rest was necessary (often with a week at the sulphur springs near the Ouachita River). A second three weeks' course was then taken, followed again by an abstinence from bathing for several days. The usual stay at the springs was from one to three months, but many invalids stayed a year and longer.

The process described in 1878 was a hot bath of 90 to 95 °F (32 to 35 °C) for about 3 minutes (timed with a sand-glass). This was followed by another three minutes with all but the head in a steam box, or if milder treatment was prescribed, sitting atop the steam box covered with a blanket. During this the bather is also drinking hot water from their coffee-pot. After these eight to ten minutes of treatment, the bather is well rubbed down and thoroughly dried. The blanket-covered customer then would walk briskly back to their quarters to lie down for at least a half hour to let the body recover its normal temperature. Sleeping at this stage was considered dangerous.

The bathhouses began using vapor cabinets around 1884. The bather sat in the cabinet for 10–20 minutes with the lid closed tightly around the neck, with vapor from the hot water rising through the floor of the cabinet, with temperatures around 110–130 °F (43–54 °C). Toward the end of the 1880s Russian and Turkish baths were offered, and in the 1890s German needle baths and Scotch douches (concentrated stream of hot or cold water, often used on the back) were added.

Although details of services were left to bathhouse operators, the Park's superintendent set various rules. In the 1930s a tub bath could not take more than 20 minutes and shower no more than 90 seconds. During the next decade shower time was reduced to a minute, with maximum temperatures specified for several services. After a bath of about 98 °F (37 °C), the patient might spend 2–5 minutes in a vapor cabinet, get 15 minutes of packs (wet, hot or cold), followed by a tepid needle shower and light massage and alcohol rub.

By 1980 one reporter described getting a 20 minute bath, two minutes in a steam bath, 15 minutes wrapped with hot packs, and resting in a cooling room for 20–30 minutes.

The current modern facilities are oriented toward spa style or pool services.

Pay bathhouses

There have been nearly two dozen pay bathhouses open at the same time, with about nine of those within the park's "Bathhouse Row" (these numbers have varied for reasons such as the Quapaw now using the space formerly occupied by two bathhouses). Nine of the bathhouses were associated with hotels, hospitals, or sanatoria. The water is the same for all, but the prices charged for the baths varied in accordance with the equipment and accommodations furnished by each facility. The charges for the services of the attendants are the same and include the necessities except towels, blankets, bathrobes, laundering, rubbing mercury, and handling of invalids.

In 1929, prices for single baths ranged from $1 to $1.40, while a course of 21 baths was $16 to $24. Baths were offered at the Arlington Hotel, Fordyce, Buckstaff, Eastman Hotel, Maurice, La Mar, Majestic Hotel, Quapaw, Hale, Imperial, Moody Hotel, Ozark, St. Joseph's Infirmary, Superior, Ozark Sanatorium, Rockafellow, Alhambra, Pythian (colored), and Woodmen of Union (colored).[8]

At present on Bathhouse Row only the Buckstaff and Quapaw are operating as bathhouses. The Fordyce is open as a visitors center giving tours of the facilities that have been renovated to appear as they originally did and The Ozark is currently housing the Museum of Contemporary Art and can be rented as reception hall. The Arlington Hotel, Austin Hotel and Convention Center, and The Springs Hotel & Spa also offer hot spring baths using the Park water.

 

 

 

 

 

Rock types

The exposed rock types in the vicinity of the thermal springs are sedimentary rocks of Mississippian to Ordovician age, with the exception of younger igneous rocks (Cretaceous age) exposed in two small areas about 6 and 11 miles (9.7 and 17.7 km) southeast of the thermal springs (Potash Sulphur Spring and Magnet Cove, respectively), and in many small dikesand sills. Most dikes are less than 5 ft (1.5 m) wide. There have been 80 dikes noted about 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Hot Springs, on and near the Ouachita River. There is no indication that igneous rock occurs where the thermal springs discharge.

Remaining natural hot springs

The sedimentary rocks in the vicinity of the thermal springs consist of shale, chert, novaculite, sandstone, and conglomerate.

During most of the Paleozoic Era, what became the Ouachita Mountains was the bottom of a shallow sea, where several sedimentary layers were created. About 500 million years ago a collision of the South American Plate with the North American Plate caused the shale and sandstone layers to fracture and fissure, creating mountains of the folded rocks.The thermal springs emerge from the plunging crest line of a large overturned anticline in the Zigzag Mountains of the Ouachita anticlinorium. The overturned anticline plunges toward the southwest into the Mazarn Basin. There are two recognized major thrust faults trending nearly parallel to fold axes that define the northern and southern limits of the thermal springs discharge area. The northern fault extends nearly parallel to Fountain Street northeastward about 9,200 ft (2,800 m) onto the southeast flank of North Mountain, and dips about 26 degrees north. At the northern extent of the thermal springs, this fault is suggested to form along the bedding contact of the Hot Springs Sandstone and Stanley Shale, with the Stanley Shale forming the hanging wall of the fault. The southern fault extends northeastward about 9,000 ft (2,700 m) roughly along the axis of the Hot Springs anticline, and dips about 44 degrees north. It has been proposed that a fault splits away from the southern fault, trends west and connects with the northern fault. A natural ravine trends along the location of this fault. Extensive cracks, joints, and fissures in the Bigfork Chert, Arkansas Novaculite, and the Hot Springs Sandstone allow the water to flow in the thermal springs area. Dissolved minerals in the water precipitate to form the white to tan travertine or "tufa rock" seen near the openings of the hot springs.

 

 

 

 

Composition of the water

Public Fountain

The water all comes from the same deep source, but surface appearance of the springs differed. What was called Mud Spring had a tepid ooze where there was no danger of being scalded. Springs acquired names such as Magnesia, Big Iron Arsenic Spring, on the other hand, contains no detectable traces of that substance. The water from many springs is now combined in one supply, with the total amount of water varying from 750,000 to 950,000 US gallons (2.8 to 3.6 ML) a day. The temperature averages about 143 °F (62 °C). Maximum temperatures have declined about 5 °F (2.8 °C) since records have been kept.

In 1905 curative characteristics were being ascribed to radium and Professor Bertram Boltwood of Yale examined these waters. There is a measurable level of radioactivity primarily due to dissolved radon gas, with some radium. At the time collection and distribution equipment was designed to retain the radon gas, while now it is designed to allow it to escape. The level of exposure to radiation that results from bathing appears to be similar to the level that would result from sitting in the sun for the same period of time. The park water is considered well within safe limits and similar to other natural waters throughout the world.

Drinking water is dispensed from several hot water jug fountains. The hot water is naturally potable. Two cold water springs (Happy Hollow and Whittington Springs) are treated using ozone filtration. Regulations prohibit private individuals from selling the park's waters.

Water Composition Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Springs_National_Park


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