Discovering Eureka! | Basin, Grotto, Crescent and Sweet.
Basin Spring in considered "the center of town" and it flows under Basin Spring Park. Basin Spring is the legendary Indian healing spring known to Native Americans and early pioneer settlers.
❤️It is the heart of Eureka Springs.❤️
In caves and under-rock overhangs the Osage Indians made their homes. This was happening for centuries and well before the early European explorers came to Eureka Springs.
These explorers, along with some American pioneers eventually reached the vicinity where they identified Basin Spring.
The first crowds of health seekers encamped here in 1879. Drawn by the promise of near miraculous cures, the city was named on this site July 4, 1879. The first town-site survey was platted with the spring and surrounding reservation of protected land as its centerpiece. A plan of lots, blocks and streets, extending in all directions, encompassed many other nearby springs . . .
Dr. Alvah Jackson, a pioneer physician, often visited the healing spring and used its waters to treat disease.
Health seekers arriving at Basin Spring in the 1880’s found a rough board enclosure under the bluff being used for a variety of purposes, including for a time, the Rock House Saloon.
At Grotto Spring, you will notice the words “Esto Perpetua” etched on a stone above the entrance to Spring - these words were a declaration from citizens at the time from the prevailing belief that these healing waters would flow forever. It is Latin and when translated means, "let it be perpetual."
In 1890, extensive street construction on “The Boulevard” (which was what Spring Street was then called) and this necessitated construction of a limestone enclosure and ornamental stonework which today still encases our beloved Grotto Spring.
Crescent Spring is just so inviting at any time of the year. Located next to our Carnegie Library on Spring Street, this spring is adorned with a Victorian gazebo and beautiful stone masonry. Our many springs have survived, even if they have become mere trickles.
Crescent Spring, now dry, was once one of the most popular sources on Spring Street, so much so that it was given a sheltering gazebo. Today, the gazebo still stands and continues to be a visual delight with its graceful flared copper-covered roof, its two tiers separated by a band of narrow circular windows, and wooden X-trusses connecting the six wood posts.
The Crescent Spring gazebo is beautifully landscaped and stone steps on its north side lead up the hillside to the aptly named Crescent Hotel.
In its heyday, Crescent Spring was also revered for its healing waters almost as much as Basin Spring. This legendary spring was appropriately named for its position on a hillside with a rock outcropping that was often described as “crescent shaped."
The picture below shows Sweet Spring Park as taken from above. Sweet Spring Park is located on Spring Street, next to Rogue Manor and adjacent to the Eureka Springs Post Office. This park is a visitor favorite with the basin bowl collecting water and the beautiful landscaping by our Eureka Parks Team.
Directions: Begin at the footpath located at the end of Prospect Avenue and ollow the path down to Spring Street and walk right. The first spring you will come to is Grotto Spring which will be on your right. The round-trip route to see all four of these beautiful Eureka Spring parks is barely a mile.
Please don't drink the water because it's not quite the same as it was in the beginning but it is highly recommended to sit at each park for five or ten minutes and meditate. These springs continue to flourish on sacred ground and it is our belief that the soil retains the same miracle healing energy.
It always has. It always will.
Discovering Eureka is a blog series where we seek to discover the unique things that make Eureka Springs. There is so much to see, experience and explore here in Eureka Springs and in this series we will take time to give you the local perspective on what to do, where to go, what to see and how did this become something significant for our town. Take a moment to check out the different chapters in this blog series on www.iloveureka.com
All of the historic research for this non-revenue generating community blog is complied by using various methods and resources widely available. I often find information from public libraries, magazines, books, historical publications, websites, other blogs, and much more. This story was compiled with the help of eurekaparks.com