Thu-Sun twice daily.
Adults USD 10.
|Guided tours:||D=30 min.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1896||Bill Doolin, member of the Dalton gang, arrested at the Basin Spring Bath House.|
|04-JUL-2009||opened to the public.|
The underground of Eureka Springs is a collection of cellars and abandoned spaces underground. Known to the locals from local lore, they were opened to the public lately. However, the local lore is right about its existence, not about its origin. The urban legend tells the spaces are a result of the elevation of Main Street around 1890, to prevent flooding along Leatherwood Creek. Before the elevation the frequent flooding created mud deposits on the road, which was then called Mud Street. Actually there has never been an elevation, which is now known as a result of an architectural study carried out by a five-person team in 2008.
A central part of the tour is the old Basin Spring Bath House. It was destroyed by a fire in 1888 and rebuilt in 1889, but the old limestone facade with a door and two large windows facing Main Street was preserved underground. Actually, as the legend of the elevation is not true, this is not actually the facade of the bath house, as the original bathhouse was made entirely of wood. It is probabyl the remains of another building which was recycled as foundations of the new bath house. However, the storefront facade below street level remains a mystery. The basement of the old bathhouse serves as an underground history center for the tour.
The tour iincludes about a dozen stops, most of them are rather small. The underground is interesting but not as spacious as the underground at Atlanta or Seattle. Rather impressive concerning size is the storm water drainage tunnel for Leatherwood Creek. It is 340 m long and used for flood control, so it can be visited only during dry months. The tunnel has to be repaired fist and may be included into the tour in 2011.