• RETURN
  • EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. -- This town was jammed this weekend with tourists and vacationers for the annual
    War Eagle Craft Show and the kickoff of Eureka Spring's May Artsfest. But its original attraction has sustained life,
    and attracted multitudes, since the end of the Ice Age.
    Thirty-eight million gallons a day flow from its depths. Itís an artesian fountain formed when Missouriís Ozarks
    collided with Arkansas' Ouchita Mountains 300 million years ago. Humans and animals have sought it out as a
    life-giving source for eons.
    For 10,000 years, generations of indigenous people sheltered themselves under a nearby rock bluff. They watched
    Spanish, then French, explorers pass by, and moved on when the white settlers came.
    By 1907, Eureka Springs was a resort destination and the second largest city in Arkansas. It was clear then that the
    spring was a marketable source of miracle-working mineral water for tourists.
    In the early part of the 20th century, Blue Spring's water was marketed to healthy minded Americans, bottled as
    Ozarka brand. It was piped over the mountain to Eureka Springs and shipped out by the trainload.
    Johnice Cross, a great-granddaughter of the original owner, has a new sales plan. Cross plans to market it with a
    Blue Spring label.
    Exactly where the water comes from is still a liquid legend. A team of cave divers took on the deep, dangerous and
    complicated challenge of exploring Blue Springís depths, and took some incredible video, which has been made into
    a documentary that's available at the Blue Spring Heritage Center. The dive team spent 350 hours in the spring, looking
    for its source, squeezing way through a series of narrow crevices, often at their peril.
    They discovered, during downpours, the spring can be angry. The gravel comes up and the water acts like a washing
    machine full of golf balls. At 218 feet down, the spring ended the diversí expedition, with a tiny gap in the rocks,
    still hiding its secrets in an abyss of mystery.
    AAA calls Blue Spring a travel treasure. If you'd like to know more about its history and when to visit, check out its Web site.

    bluespringheritage.com