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EUREKA SPRINGS AS A RESORT.

BY MISS F. E. PERKINS.

 

To close the eyes on the smokes of the city and open them among the hills, this is what the Frisco System makes possible to the dweller in St. Louis or Kansas City. On all other sides surrounded by almost limitless prairies, in this direction there is an easy escape to the uplands, where the eye rests with relief upon a broken sky-line. Hither, too, comes the man from Texas, Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana on a similar errand.

The approach to Eureka Springs is a gradual preparation for the romantic beauty of the resort itself. One's first impression of Eureka Springs is of a town on end. Houses one story high in front may be three or four stories in the rear. An electric car which winds in and out around the hills is a welcome sight to the tired climber. Conspicuous from every point the Crescent Hotel lifts its white walls and shows its crescent moon, the highest point of the town.

Follow any path, and it will lead you to one of the springs for which this region is famed. Clear, cool, health-giving water it is, with medicinal properties but no unpleasant medicinal taste. The Basin spring is the most central, and is the daily resort of all the seekers after health and most of the seekers after pleasure, to whom it affords an excuse for a pleasant little stroll down the main street of the town, a stroll which usually ends in the purchase of souvenirs in some one of the many attractive stores. Within easy reach are the Harding spring, the Sweet spring, the Crescent spring and the Grotto springs, the latter a particular favorite with the amateur photographer. Further off, but still within walking distance, are the Magnetic spring, Oil spring, Moss spring and many others.

To get a good general idea of the plan of the town one has only to take the elevator in the Crescent Hotel and be carried to the tower. There such a panorama is spread out as is not often seen. A valley stretching north and south diverges into two and is intersected by half a dozen lesser valleys. In and out winds the electric car, climbing the mountain on which we stand. The Basin spring, with the surrounding buildings forming the nucleus of the town, lies to the southwest. To the southeast is the railway station, completely hidden by the trees.

For one who loves nature with a constant affection there is no need for amusement other than the free life of out of doors affords. But some of us are more fickle. We love nature, too, but there are other things we love, and above all we crave variety. All kinds of people can find their favorite amusement at Eureka Springs. Tennis courts are provided in the beautiful grounds of the Crescent Hotel. Black bass, perch and other fish are found in White and King's rivers, and there is abundance of game for the sportsman. For those who do not care to go so far afield there is the bowling alley, a favorite resort for all ages. Weekly dances are given at the Crescent Hotel and occasional dances at the smaller houses.

But the thing in which Eureka Spring easily leads its rivals is in the facilities it affords for horseback riding. The stables are good and are adapted to the wants of those unaccustomed to riding as well as to the experienced. At this season of the year the sumac has turned and the woods are glorious. The list of attractions to be visited is a long one and includes Silver Lake, the Goat Ranch and Blue Springs, the latter at a distance of nine miles, the others three and five miles respectively. There are caves to be explored and nuts to be gathered. There are precipitous places to be climbed and there are woody paths in which to walk the horse and drink in the odor of the pines. To many of the points of interest it is possible to take a carriage or a tallyho. Others there are, like Pivot Rock, a miniature of the famous Balance Rock of the Garden of the Gods, which are to be reached only by a horseman.

While the tide of pleasure seekers at Eureka Springs rises to its height during the summer and early fall, every season of the year has its peculiar charms, and the hotels and boarding houses keep open all the year round, the glorious climate insuring patronage. To those who have never journeyed in this direction, and who believe and teach that there is nothing worth a journey between the Catskills and the Rockies, should visit Eureka Springs and see with their own eyes its picturesqueness and be invigorated by its healthful waters.


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