Book Review: A Fame Not Easily Forgotten

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Eureka Springs, Arkansas is one of my favorite places to visit. It is quirky, beautiful, full of unique artists, craftspeople, writers, entertainment venues, and natural scenery. It is a town built seemingly overnight in July 1879 following the discovery of what was then and is believed to be now curative powers in the waters of the many natural springs in the area.

In “A Fame Not Easily Forgotten”, researchers, historians, and authors June Westphal and Catharine Osterhage spent four years culling newspaper articles, historical records, written accounts, and rare photographs to compile a reasonable and accurate description of what many call the “City That Water Built.”

In mid-December 2015, just prior to my departure on a thirty-day winter holiday, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with June Westphal at her book signing at the Eureka Springs Historical Museum. I was impressed by her extensive knowledge of the town, its inhabitants, and the entire region.

Here’s an excerpt from the Preface of A Fame Not Easily Forgotten: An Autobiography of Eureka Springs:

Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a remarkable place—and utterly improbable. Why would anyone in the late 1800s, traveling on horseback or in wagons, traverse dirt paths through the steep Ozark Mountains to what must have seemed like the end of the earth? Why would they settle and build elaborate structures on sharp, rocky inclines?

The answer is, water. Pure, abundant spring water reported to have extraordinary curative properties—hope of healing was that powerful and that compelling. So, come they did. Build, they did. And while the water may not have reached expectations, the beauty and magic of the place captured the hearts of so many, they stayed, or kept returning. They still do…

The extensive research is well documented, includes many old pictures of the early days of expansion and growth of the town, and makes for interesting, informative, and entertaining reading. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the area and its history. You can order your own signed copy of this book from the Eureka Springs Historical Museum.

“Living History” Cemetery Walking Tour

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The Eureka Springs Historical Museum will host its 7th annual “Voices from Eureka’s Silent City” cemetery walking tours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 15th, 16th, and 17th.  Then again on Friday and Saturday, October 30th and 31st.  The living history tours feature live actors in period costumes portraying early citizens of Eureka Springs.

This year, actors and guides will be presenting  compelling stories of some of Eureka’s former leaders in service and philanthropy who now reside in the Silent City,  the Eureka Springs City Cemetery:  A WWI Army Colonel, a socialite, a prominent lawyer/mayor, a descendant of a Native American Chief, and an early proponent of baseball, among others.

I will be attending this event. It should be a fun, interesting experience.

For more information and pictures from previous walks take a jaunt over to Eureka Springs Historical Museum!

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Cemetery Walk Eureka Springs 2014

 

28th Annual May Festival of the Arts

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It’s that time of year once again when my all-time favorite little town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas hosts their May Festival of the Arts.

Art is alive in Eureka Springs!  Tucked in the mountains, surrounded by lakes, rivers, streams, and natural healing springs, authentic creative spirits run rampant through the village. Come visit and soak in an art happening that can’tbe found anywhere else.

As many of you may know, in a previous life—before I took up writing and procrastination as serious endeavors—I had a twenty-year career as an artist. One of my favorite art venues is right here in Eureka Springs where you will find over 300 artists working in every medium imaginable. It is a beautiful, happening place if you are into the creative art vibe and they put it all on display in the month of May.

The 28th Annual May Festival of the Arts is packed with one-of-a-kind art exhibits, demonstrations, performances, culinary arts, free music in the park, and the wildest street party thrown by artists – The White Street Walk.

If only I had a dollar for every step I’ve ever taken touring and enjoying this beautiful place. I highly recommend a visit.

You can find more information here at the Eureka Springs Visitor Blog.

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Books In Bloom 2015

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My home state of Arkansas boasts many wonderful events for authors and artists. Among all, one of my favorites is Books In Bloom Literary Festival held on the grounds of the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs.

I’m pleased that my friend and fellow author, Nancy Hartney, is among those selected to attend the prestigious event.  

Books in Bloom, an event for writers and readers, was established in 2005 by the Carroll and Madison Public Library Foundation to promote the value of books and reading. The Festival provides an opportunity for the public to meet authors and to hear them speak about their work and various aspects of writing and publishing.

For a complete list of events and all invited authors please visit the Books In Bloom web page.

More information about Nancy Hartney can be found here at http://nancyhartney.com/

My review of Nancy’s book “Washed In The Water: Tales from the South” is here.

Congratulations, Nancy!

Around My Neck Of The Woods

It is nice when an area of my state gets good national news coverage.

USA Today has an article from American Style Magazine naming Eureka Springs, Arkansas one of the Top 25 Art Towns in America–the fourth time the magazine has done so. Historically, tourists to the area (at least the non-native American kind) began visiting in the 1800s to enjoy the many natural springs. Now, along with the therapeutic waters, the town is home to art galleries, studios and events. As Style Magazine correctly notes: “The entire city of Eureka Springs is listed as a National Register of Historic Places because of its historic structures.”

Eureka Springs, Arkansas and the haunted Crescent Hotel.

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There are many places in my home state I enjoy visiting but few can compare to the beauty and interest of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and the folks that call this place home. Beautiful scenery, tourist sites, boating, fishing, hiking and just about all manner of outdoor recreational fun galore aside, there’s also a unique side to this area: its less than corporal inhabitants. By that, I mean ghostly haunts and otherworldly spirits.

A number of buildings in this area reputedly hold inhabitants from the ghostly realms. Among the more famous is the beautiful (and some say beautifully haunted) Crescent Hotel. In fact, their ghosts are so famous the Crescent is known as America’s most haunted hotel.

“Officially known as the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, its legend has been formed from the many guests who checked out but have never left.

These famous spirits include Michael, the Irish stonemason who fell to his death while building the hotel in 1885, Theodora, the cancer patient of the Dr. Baker hospital days who seems to need help finding her room key, Norman Baker in his white suit and lavender shirt, Morris the cat, a mystery patient in a white nightgown who appears in the luxury suites at the foot of your bed or any of the innumerable…”

In fact, the Crescent is so haunted they even conduct official ghost tours of the place which will end in the morgue. Yes, there’s an old morgue.

The tour and ghost hunting is still (possibly) on my list of things to do. If they are as interesting as the rest of Eureka Springs, the adventure shouldn’t be a disappointment, spooky haunts or not.

Eureka Springs Historical Museum

I am pleased to announce the gift shop in the  Eureka Springs Historical Museum in beautiful downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas carries my book “Storytellin’: True And Fictional Short Stories Of Arkansas”.

Many thanks to Steven Sinclair, Director.

“The Eureka Springs Historical Museum is located in the heart of the Historic District at 95 S. Main in the 1889 Calif Building. Its mission is to collect, preserve, and exhibit the documents, photographs, and artifacts pertaining to the history of Eureka Springs (Carroll County) and the surrounding area.”

For more information visit their website at http://www.eurekaspringshistoricalmuseum.org/museum.html

 

 

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 Signing my books for sale in the Eureka Springs Historical Museum. Photos by Steven Sinclair, Museum Director.

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