Amazing Things About Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs was a favorite of Robert Ripley of Ripley’s Believe it or not. The town has been featured because of these unique facts:
•none of the streets in Eureka Springs cross at right angles.
•there are no stoplights in Eureka Springs.
*every floor of the seven-story Basin Park Hotel is considered "at ground level."
•St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church is designed so that you enter through the bell tower.
*iron catwalks enable quick and easy escape to the mountainside. Because of this last little feature, Robert Ripley added the hotel to his collection of the curious, as the only hotel where every floor is "at ground level."
Lake Leatherwood City Park here in Eureka Springs, AR was once the 3rd largest city park in the USA. Today, in the list of city parks (Top 100) in the USA, Lake Leatherwood City Park is number 61 and spans 1,620 acres. Note: Chugach State Park in Anchorage, AK is the largest in the nation at 495,996 acres. Central Park in New York, New York is a mere 842 acres and does not even make the top 100 list of city parks in the USA.
Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs once ranked as the fourth most significant
American architectural structure behind the Sears Tower, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building. Today, it holds the marker of #60. Note: The TransAmerica Pyramid in San Francisco, CA holds #61.
The famous neon sign hanging over Palace Bath House entrance was the first neon sign installed west of the Mississippi River; (purportedly built by the French inventor of neon, Mr. Georges and shipped from France to America, then by rail to E.S. and then by truck to the Palace Hotel.)
According to local folklore, Jesse James and his gang hid in the caves around Eureka Springs.
Eureka Springs has more than 60 natural springs, the reason visitors first came in the 19th century. More than a dozen of these springs have been restored and can be visited today.
The ninth governor of Arkansas, Powell Clayton, made his home in Eureka Springs. Entrepreneur, poet, statesman . . . and one of the most famous political "villains" of his era. The original Clayton residence is the present-day home of Crescent Cottage Inn.
The original Main Street is now one level underground. Built in a low level gulch, alongside a small spring-fed creek, it suffered from frequent runoff problems and quickly earned the nickname "Mud" Street. When road improvements were made, it was necessary to raise the overall level of the two streets and required that a number of businesses along Main Street create new entrances on the second floor, thereby making basements out of the once street-level facades. These original entrance levels were walled off and now lie hidden within a string of disconnected subterranean limestone tunnels.
Eureka Springs, AR is the only city in America whose entire historic downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.