The town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, was founded in the late 19th century as a health resort due to its location near natural springs believed to have healing properties. Today, it is a popular tourist destination known for its Victorian architecture and scenic beauty.
Hot Spring County, Arkansas, located in the south-central part of the state, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Before European settlers arrived, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Quapaw and Caddo. These tribes valued the natural hot springs found in the county, which became important cultural and spiritual sites.

European exploration of the area began in the 18th century, with French and Spanish explorers venturing into the region. It was during this time that the hot springs in Hot Spring County gained attention from outsiders. The French explorer Jean-Baptiste BĂ©nard de La Harpe visited the area in 1721, noting the therapeutic qualities of the springs. The Spanish established control over Arkansas in the late 18th century, but it wasn't until the United States acquired the Louisiana Territory that Hot Spring County came under American control.

In the early 19th century, Hot Spring County attracted settlers looking to take advantage of the hot springs' alleged healing properties. In 1832, Congress established the Hot Springs Reservation, which included the hot springs and surrounding lands. This marked the beginning of what would become Hot Springs National Park, the oldest national park maintained by the National Park System. Hot Springs, the county seat, grew rapidly as a result, becoming a popular health and vacation destination.

Throughout the rest of the 19th and 20th centuries, Hot Spring County continued to thrive as a resort town. However, the area's economy diversified over time, with the development of agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism industries. Today, Hot Spring County remains a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its natural beauty, historical attractions, and the healing powers of its renowned thermal waters.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Hot Spring County, Arkansas.

  • 1800s: Hot Spring County was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Caddo, Quapaw, and Osage.
  • 1807: The land that is now Hot Spring County was included in the newly formed Arkansas Territory.
  • 1830: The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek resulted in the relocation of Native American tribes, including the Quapaw, from the county.
  • 1842: Hot Spring County was officially established and named after the natural hot springs in the area.
  • 1873: The construction of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad through the county led to increased growth and development.
  • 1884: Malvern, the county seat, was incorporated as a city.
  • 1898: The first natural gas field in Arkansas was discovered in Hot Spring County, leading to further economic growth.
  • 1938: Lake Catherine State Park was established in the county, offering recreational activities for residents and visitors.
  • 1960s: The completion of Interstate 30 through the county provided better transportation infrastructure.
  • 1997: A major tornado struck parts of Hot Spring County, causing significant damage and loss of life.