In 1883, the Eureka Springs Railroad was completed, connecting the city to Seligman, Missouri, eighteen miles away.As many as nine trains a day carried passengers and resources to and from Eureka Springs.Improvements in the city fire department and construction of buildings out of stone rather than wood helped to reduce the danger of fire after those years.Former Arkansas governor Powell Claytonfounded the Eureka Improvement Company to take advantage of the tourism opportunities in the city.Early Twentieth Century On the site of the old Perry House, the Basin Park Hotel went up in 1905.It is still famous today for its unique architecture.
While Osage hunting parties undoubtedly drank from the springs, no evidence exists to suggest that the Osage or other tribes considered the water of any special medicinal value.
Accounts of Indian leaders sharing the water with other tribes or with white settlers have been told to visitors since the end of the nineteenth century but have no historical foundation.
When the Osage ceded northern Arkansas to the United States government in 1825, the land was open to white settlers, but the Eureka Springs area remained sparsely populated until after the Civil War. Alvah Jackson is said to have found the springs (and their reputed healing powers) in 1856, but he reportedly shared the water only locally at first.
Civil War through the Gilded Age According to local writers, Jackson began marketing the spring water as “Dr.
Jackson’s Eye Water.” During the Civil War, it is said, he set up a hospital, “Dr.