Exploring the Historical and Natural Wonders of Hot Springs, Arkansas

December 16, 2023

Discover the rich history and natural beauty of Hot Springs, Arkansas, a unique town known for its thermal waters, historic Bathhouse Row, and intriguing gangster era legacy.

Hot Springs, Arkansas, often referred to as "America’s First Resort," is a town steeped in history and natural beauty. Renowned for its thermal spring waters, flowing at an average temperature of 143°F and producing nearly a million gallons of water daily, these springs have attracted visitors for centuries, including Native Americans who revered it as a neutral territory [[❞]](https://www.hotsprings.org/explore/history/). The town's historical significance is highlighted by its designation in 1832 as the first federal reservation, pre-dating Yellowstone National Park by 40 years. During the Civil War in 1862, Hot Springs briefly served as Arkansas' state capital. The famous Bathhouse Row, with its Victorian-style bathhouses, was constructed between 1892 and 1923, marking the town as a prominent spa destination. In 1921, the area was designated as Hot Springs National Park, further cementing its historical and recreational importance [[❞]](https://www.hotsprings.org/explore/history/). But Hot Springs' history isn't just about healing waters. In the 20th century, it was a haven for notorious gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano. The town's secluded location and corruption among local authorities made it a hotbed for illegal activities like gambling, bootlegging, and organized crime [[❞]](https://www.hotsprings.org/explore/history/). Besides its notorious past, Hot Springs also played a pivotal role in the early days of professional baseball. In 1886, Cap Anson brought his Chicago White Stockings (now the Cubs) to Hot Springs for spring training, establishing a tradition followed by many major league teams. Today, the Hot Springs Baseball Trail commemorates this sporting heritage [[❞]](https://www.hotsprings.org/explore/history/). The town boasts several historical attractions like the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, the Arlington Hotel, and The Ohio Club, Arkansas' oldest bar. These landmarks, along with the Army Navy Hospital and historic baseball fields, offer visitors a glimpse into the town's rich past [[❞]](https://www.hotsprings.org/explore/history/). As we approach December 16, 2023, notable for events like National Chocolate Covered Anything Day and National Wreaths Across America Day [[❞]](https://www.yearindays.com/calendar/december/16/#:~:text=URL%3A%20https%3A%2F%2Fwww) [[❞]](https://www.yearindays.com/calendar/december/16/#:~:text=,and%20ants%20have%20in%20common) [[❞]](https://www.yearindays.com/calendar/december/16/#:~:text=,children%20the%20value%20of%20freedom), Hot Springs remains a testament to America's diverse history. It's a place where the past and present merge seamlessly, offering a unique experience for history buffs and nature lovers alike. To learn more about this fascinating town, visit [Hot Springs official history page](https://www.hotsprings.org/explore/history/) and [Wikipedia's list of hot springs](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hot_springs). Image Credit: A picturesque scene of Hot Springs, Arkansas, showcasing its unique blend of natural beauty and historical charm (Image ID: D0NMWCg5gz0pOidY).