• John-Michael Scurio

Eureka Springs | G.H.O.S.T. TOWN?

As of late, likely because of the impact of COVID-19, I hear the locals and visitors using the word GHOST TOWN.


While we are an actual town of ghosts, we are not an actual ghost town.

Please allow me to explain.

G.

A town often becomes a {G}host town because the economic activity that supported it (usually industrial or agricultural) has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, prolonged droughts, pandemics, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, war, pollution, or nuclear disasters.


Some ghost towns, especially those that preserve period-specific architecture, have become tourist attractions; like Eureka Springs. Some examples are Bannack in the United States, Barkerville in Canada, Craco in Italy, Kolmanskop in Namibia, Pripyat in Ukraine, and Danushkodi in India.


Since March 13, 2020, Eureka Springs, like most cities and towns, has settled into quarantine, but through the wonders of neighborly connection, social media and community outreach, Eureka Springs thrives - even still. Our community won't let this town become a ghost town despite the fact that many ghosts are actually here.


Over the last many days, our businesses, although closed, have banded together for some incredible community work for our community kids, on spring break, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.


...and while we do have The most haunted hotel in America - The Crescent Hotel and Spa

where guests have reported strange occurrences and sightings while staying in the Crescent Hotel & Spa -- COVID-19 or not, we ARE a very proud town of ghosts!!!


Here's a good example why we are not a ghost town . . .


LOCAL PROGRAM -- 50 LUNCHES

These restaurants got together to create 50 lunches for KIDS who will not get their school lunches because of spring break. The lunches were prepared by local restaurants.


Lunches were distributed from 1:00pm-2:00pm each day over the week of spring break - Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27, 2020.

Local Flavor will prepare 50 lunches with Two Dumb Dames Fudge Factory dessert to be distributed by Le Stick Nouveau behind New Orleans Hotel on Center St.


Ermilio's made 50 lunches for pickup in their parking lot at 26 White St.


Brian & Robin Weinmann from Ben E. Keith Foods prepared 50 lunches to be distributed by Le Stick Nouveau behind New Orleans Hotel on Center St.


Ozark Fried Chicken prepared 50 Lunches for pickup at their drive thru window at 139 East Van Buren.


Rocking Pig crafted 50 lunches for pickup from their catering van in the Rocking Pig parking lot at 2039 East Van Buren


New Delhi Café prepared 50 lunches to be distributed by Le Stick Nouveau behind the New Orleans Hotel on Center St.


Le Stick Nouveau created 50 lunches to be distributed behind the New Orleans Hotel on Center St.

H.

Being a local in Eureka Springs is a {H}appy existence. We live in the most beautiful, unique town in Arkansas!  Truly. We go about our daily lives everyday. We go to work, take the kids to school, shop at he grocery store; y'know, the mundane day-to-day things we all do to sustain our daily living.  


But there are moment when we have to STOP and remind ourselves where we are. I mean, people come from all over the world to see our adorable, little, Victorian town!  


There is so much going on here every day - even mountain biking!  

O.

GET OUTSIDE!


Surely you’ve seen Basin Spring Park, but do you know the history of Basin Spring? It all started in 1956, when Dr. Alvah Jackson was hunting with his son, who began to complain of sore eyes.


Having heard the springs have magical properties, Dr. Jackson instructed his son to go outside and down to the hillside near their camp and wash his eyes thoroughly with water.

In a few days when the infection began to heal, Dr. Jackson examined the spring more closely and discovered a rock shelf buried under mud and gravel. After cleaning out the basin, he was convinced he had found the legendary spring he had been seeking for years.

During the Civil War, Dr. Jackson treated wounded soldiers, both Union and Confederate, in a bluff shelter located near the spring that became known as Dr. Jackson’s Cave Hospital. He continued to treat patients in the area after the war with the spring water and began bottling and selling it as Dr. Jackson’s Eye Water.

The recorded history of Eureka Springs began in 1879, when Dr. Jackson invited his friend, Judge L.B. Saunders, who was suffering from an “incurable” leg infection, to bathe it in the curative waters of the spring. Saunders’ leg miraculously healed.

In late May, Saunders and Jackson organized a small gathering around the spring where they discussed changing the name of the spring. Saunders was in favor of retaining the name “Jackson Spring” for its discoverer, and someone suggested “Saunders Spring” after its first resident. “Eureka,” the exclamation meaning “I have found it!” was suggested, and the name was readily accepted. So began the story of Eureka Springs, “The City that Water Built.”


But even for the purposes of public health, being cooped up inside all day can be difficult, which begs the question: Can you go outside during a self-quarantine? What about during a shelter-in-place order, which more locations are adopting? If so, where can you go and for how long? Could you go to a national park?


The answer - GET {O}UTSIDE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!

S.

{S}EASONS


Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall are all stunning here in Eureka Springs.

Come visit. Come find out for yourself.

T.

We can all agree that the last two months have been strange times: COVID-19 brought China’s economy to a near halt and 100 million Chinese were subjected to movement restrictions and intrusive surveillance. Next, case counts exploded in South Korea, Iran, Italy, and Japan. Over the last week and a half, clusters have emerged in the Washington state, New York and Louisiana bringing the US economy to a halt.


Shelter-in-place is defined as “finding a safe location indoors and staying there until you are given an ‘all clear’ or told to evacuate.” This term is generally applied to active shooter situations where there is an immediate threat, which is why it’s a bit of a misnomer for the current COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, you should absolutely stay inside and away from others as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean you are banned from leaving your home. As long as you are not currently infected or suspect you might have been exposed to infected individuals, you can still go outside. Many governments that are implementing shelter-in-place orders actually encourage people to go outside occasionally for their mental and physical health.

Yes, you can leave your home for exercise and to get some fresh air, but you should still practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others at all times. 

The City of Eureka Springs was founded and named on July 4, 1879. As word of Eureka's miraculous, healing waters began to spread, thousands of visitors flocked to the original encampment of tents and hastily built shanties.


This town has {T}enacity! It's seen charlatan doctors, floods, mud, fire, bank robberies crime, death and ghosts. Eureka Springs has always, AND WILL ALWAYS endure, despite what comes our way.


We ARE a town of ghosts, but we are not a ghost town!

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