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DELIGHTFUL MONTE NE.

After all, Nature has a great way of discounting man's devices for pleasure and health.

What artificial amusement can match in zest the beguiling of the wily bass from the clear, swift stream, or the exhilerating rhythm of an early morning gallop over gravelly mountain trails? And one good, deep breath of dry, delicious mountain air at sunrise makes so-called physical culture seem flat, stale and unprofitable! In the same sense that "he that is whole needs not a physician," the well man departs with more or less impunity from the primitive laws of nature. But when he is weary, or ill, there is something way down underneath the veneer of civilization that make, him long once more for the simpler existence and the vitalizing influences that can never be summarized in a doctor's bill.

Something of this sort must have passed through the mind of the founder of Monte-Ne, as he first, stood upon the steep hillsides that surround this little plateau up in the Ozark mountains of North Arkansas. Familiar as he was with the noted resorts and watering places of America and Europe, he yet perceived something so distinctly charming in the evidences of nature's handiwork at this spot that he believed others could not but be similarly impressed. That his judgment in this matter was unerring has been steadily demonstrated from the first day that visitors began coming to the resort. Nature has provided here with wondrous bounty for the weary and ill.

Think of stepping from a train into a gondola. Who ever heard of such a thing in this lakeless inland region of the southwest! It's enough to make one rub one's eyes and wonder if the glistening water and picturesque craft are real. Think of all the resorts you've ever seen or heard of. Picture the hot, dusty ride from the railway station to the hotel. (That will not be difficult). Then compare the way they do at Monte-Ne—a few steps across the platform, a comfortable seat in a gondola or launch and a dustless, joltless ride over a half-mild stretch of cool, transparent water, alighting close to the veranda of a modern, well-equipped hotel.

Does it sound like a fairy tale?

Well, you shall judge for yourself when you visit this unique resort.

And it is not hard to reach. If you will take a railroad map, place one end of a piece of string in the center of Benton county, Arkansas, and then describe an arc of 300 miles according to the map scale, you will make the interesting discovery that Monte-Ne can be reached readily within twenty-four hours from any town or city on any railroad within that distance. Do you comprehend all that that means ? Here is a vast section of country 1,000 miles in diameter, much of which is unbearably hot during the summer months. This tract includes the major portions of Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Indian Territory and Southern Arkansas. Over these states and territories the hot winds range during the summer months. In St. Louis and Memphis and Kansas City, every summer brings sweltering days and sleepless nights. But right in the center of this vast southwestern country rise the blue stretches of the Ozark mountains of North Arkansas. And way up in the midst of these lies the picturesque plateau which holds Monte-Ne. There are no torrid nights here. Indeed, it never becomes so hot but that it's wise to keep plenty of bed clothing handy. Some of it is always required before morning, even during the times when the mercury is striving to break through the top of the tube in nearly every metropolis of the United States. The days, too, are comfortable. The sun gets very warm just as it does elsewhere, but the air is wonderfully clear and dry, and an invariable breeze springs up to temper the atmosphere to the point of comfort. During the season of 1901, a record-breaker everywhere for heat, the highest temperature recorded at Hotel Monte-Ne was 95 degrees. And in the club room, which is in the basement of the hotel, the thermometer never rose above 78 degrees.

If nature designed this oasis in the center of such a vast heat-laden territory, man has made it wonderfully accessible. Monte-Ne is on a main artery of the Frisco System. One may leave St. Louis, or Kansas City, or Memphis, or Paris, Texas, in the evening, and reach Monte-Ne in good season the following morning. Fast trains, luxuriously equipped with the very latest appointments are in constant daily service from these points all the year 'round. The far-reaching net-work of the Frisco System lines and their connections furnish fast, comfortable service to Monte-Ne, such as few resorts enjoy. Not only is this true, but a special low rate is in effect to Monte-Ne from all points in the United States throughout the year.

The name Monte-Ne (pronounced Montee Nay) fits the tongue attractively, somehow. It has an original look in type. It sounds differently, too, from all the various familiar resort titles, with all their confusing similarity, or unpronounceable construction. The name Monte-Ne is a combination of French and Indian, Monte meaning mountain, and Ne, water. Like all distinctive things, this name was only evolved after much thought and research. Had it not been so, some resort would have selected it long ago, without regard for its appropriateness. Its selection for this resort is obviously a happy one. The springs or Monte-Ne are entitled to first consideration among all the many qualities that go to make up the attractiveness of the place. It is hard to believe on first thought that the splendid lagoon of transparent water which meets the gaze as the train reaches the destination is produced by springs, none of which are farther than a foot or two from the banks. Indeed, the rock bed of this winding lake is literally perforated with springs. The wonderful clearness and freshness of this water excites instant comment. Some idea of the volume of these springs may be gained when it is stated that the overflow through the gates provided to keep the lake within bounds reaches the remarkable figure of more than 5,000 gallons per minute. There are times in the year when this overflow is much greater. But even at this minimum figure estimate for yourself the volume of this overflow for a week, or a month, or a year. It is almost incredible!

So much is published annually regarding the medical properties of this spring and that spring that one finally comes to the inevitable conclusion that a large percentage of these statements are made for advertising purposes solely. The physical values of the waters at Monte-Ne admit of so rational and sensible explanation that it is possible to fix their status in a sentence or two. Analytical test proves that Nature has done a very rare thing here, for the waters are almost chemically pure. Experiment and experience have shown that pure water will do more toward relieving the system of its various ailments than all of the many waters so heavily impregnated with mineral matter. In other words, the drinking of pure water regularly for a reasonable period of time will cleanse the system, washing away the impurities of the blood and tissues. Monte-Ney water possesses a remarkable "lively quality, an endowment of vitality the secret of which is closely guarded in the subterranean depths of Nature's laboratory. For this reason it never tastes "flat," although it has no distinct flavor, mineral or otherwise. These springs have the same temperature—about 50 degrees—winter and summer, so that the water is delicious to drink, and slakes the thirst perfectly. The place was locally renowned long before the Civil war, and was the objective point for many visitors suffering from rheumatism and organic troubles. It is said by people who live here all the year 'round that these waters have performed many involuntary but effectual cures, resulting from daily use. The larger springs are all appropriately named. One of them, Lithia spring, is, as the title indicates, a natural spring of pure lithia water. Some of the spots where these springs rise are decidedly picturesque. At one point, a considerable stream is formed by the union of seven small springs, known as the Seven Sisters.

The foliage at Monte-Ne is magnificent. Early spring is gorgeous with blossoms of apple, cherry, peach and plum. Splendid oaks, pines, maples and elms cluster along; the valley, and crown the rugged cliff that rises nearly two hundred feet above the quiet waters of the lagoon. There is an abundance of shade for the sunniest days, with the pleasant rustle of the breeze-fanned leaves crooning an accompaniment. Over the cliffs and hills there are excellent trails, and they spread some wonderful views before the vision. There is so much to see at Monte-Ne. Following the narrow valley eastwardly for a little less than a mile one reaches White river. From the crest of its steep palisades, towering more than 200 feet above the swift stream, one is presented a beautiful panorama of mile of hazy valley and timber-bordered hills. From the opposite side of White river the palisades themselves compose a striking picture.

There's a romance of old Spain which throws its glamour over the massive cliff and glinting water. It has all the flavor of mysterious legend of long ago. The tale is as realistic as the narratives of Capt. Kidd's wealth of hidden treasure, awaiting some lucky searcher. It seems that some three years ago a mysterious Spaniard came to that portion of the White river valley lying in Benton county. He bore with him a tattered parchment, yellow with age. This parchment was, he said, the key to a magnificent treasure of gold and jewels buried by Spaniards who overran the country after the Mexican invasion of Cortez, three centuries ago. The record stated that a terrific battle was fought between the Spaniards and Indians. The former lost heavily. The survivors placed their treasure in a secret cave at the base of a tall cliff. The parchment declared the gold to be worth $5,000,000, and the jewels of unknown value. The description of the location seemed to fit the palisades of White river in Benton county. It was further stated that the cave had been sealed up, and that over the entrance were buried members of the party who had been killed in battle.

The presence of the Spaniard and his parchment caused a furor of excitement. People flocked in for miles from every direction. Tools and workers were promptly volunteered. Excavation was begun at once at the spot indicated. Presently, eight skeletons were unearthed. The natives went wild with excitement. Here was certain evidence of the existence of the treasure. Their cupidity became so great that they drove away the Spaniard, threatening his life so that he fled in mortal terror. But further digging failed to reveal the treasure, or the entrance to the cave. The search was continued at other points without success. The necessity for daily bread cooled the excitement in a large degree. But still the search continues, in a desultory way. Many people in the locality believe implicitly that the wealth is there. Who the Spaniard was, or whence he came, no one knows. He declared when he went away that he would return. He has not yet reappeared. Meanwhile, you may see the various excavations at the base of the palisades, and if you are desirous of finding the hidden fortune yourself, you are privileged to search to your heart's content. Incidentally, if you are interested in physiology, you may examine various portions of the skeletons, which are now pretty generally distributed among the farmers over the county. They, at least, were genuine. Whether they were Spanish or not is purely a matter of conjecture.


There are other things beside hidden treasure here to sharpen one's appetite for exploration. This section abounds in caves. There are at least twenty-five excellent ones within a radius of ten miles. Some of these are of remarkable size and not a few of them have never been thoroughly explored. The entrance to one of them is a stream, and it is possible to row back in for miles. Others contain stalactites and stalagmites of great beauty. One in particular exhibits curious natural phenomena. This is Wind cave, so designated because a steady breeze issues constantly from its entrance. This air current is so strong that it sways the grasses in summer. And the temperature remains invariably 53 degrees winter and summer. Thus one may be deliciously cooled on a warm day, or comfortably warmed on a very cold one. This cave extends back into the hill for miles, and no one has ever followed its windings to the end. Wind cave is only a few hundred yards from Hotel Monte-Ne, at the east end of the valley.

There are many points of historical interest to visit near Monte-Ne. One of these is Cross Hollows, a mile and a half to the west, where two ravines intersect the valley. After the famous Civil war battle of Pea Ridge, the Confederates retreated to this spot. Here a desperate battle was fought, the conflict being almost hand-to-hand, and the mortality fearful in view of the number of combatant engaged. Pea Ridge itself is but a few miles from Monte-Ne, and the drive is a favorite one.

Visitors to Monte-Ne during the early part of the season are delighted with the strawberries and fresh vegetables. The resort is in the heart of one of the finest fruit sections in the world.

It is said that Benton county has sold its apple crop of a single season for over $2,000,000. Think of such an output from a single county! The soil is wonderfully adapted for fruit raising. Peaches, plums, pears and small fruit of every kind are raised with signal success. Late summer offers a perfect feast of fruit for the visitor to Monte Ne.

Half a mile from the resort is the Vinola winery, a fruit farm property belonging to Mr. Starck, a former resident of Washington, D. C. The residence and buildings are located upon a fine knoll, splendidly shaded and commanding an exceptional view of White river valley. Mr. Starck is a close student of nature. He is also an able scientist, and has applied his knowledge to the cultivation and perfecting of many varieties of fruit. Chief, in point of successful development, is his vineyard. From this source he is enabled to produce annually a considerable quantity of native wines. Mr. Starck is authority for the statement that grapes grown in North Arkansas are by actual test the finest wine grapes in the world. He bases this statement on the fact that they exceed the highest test of the saccharometer, the universal instrument for determining the relative qualities of grape sugar.

The accommodations at Monte-Ne are excellent. Hotel Monte-Ne is new, and correspondingly modern. Its table is appetizing; its rooms are ample, well-appointed, and perfectly ventilated. All are outside rooms. For families or parties who so desire there are cottages and tents for rent. Table board may be secured at the hotel if desired. Rates throughout are very reasonable.

And what is there to do at Monte-Ne?

Well, to start with, there are charming walks and drives and rides. A good livery service is maintained, with comfortable carriages, and sure-footed, easy-gaited saddle horses. Then there are bowling alleys, and billiard and pool rooms, and kindred amusements. There is a fine swimming pool, 25 x 50 feet, with careful appointments. There is an auditorium with a seating capacity of 500. Here during the season may be heard some of the famous speakers, entertainers and concert people of the day. There is a large dancing pavilion where regular parties are given. White river, less than a mile away, affords the best of fishing. It is indeed a poor day when the angler cannot find all the sport he desires here.

At night, Monte-Ne is a veritable fairyland, with the reflection of myriad lights in the lagoon, the echo of laughter and song as the gondoliers wend their way over the winding waters. The evenings here are made to spend out of doors. And listen to this: There are no mosquitoes at Monte-Ne. Can you fancy an inland resort with a body of water without these spiteful pests? Wed, it's true here! Isn't that worth remembering?

Monte-Ne has the accommodations and the amusements of other resorts. And beyond all these things, it has a wealth of natural charm distinctly its own. Its wonderful climate and magnificent water are destined to re-invigorate thousands of weary people for the return to labors that are inevitably to be resumed when vacation days are over.


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