This picture shows the town in 1875. The first bathhouses built in the 1800s were crude wooden structures.
In the early 1900s, elaborate buildings replaced the primitive structures. These are the buildings that make up Bathhouse Row today.
The Buckstaff Bathhouse, one of the original bathhouses, is the only one still operational today. A whirlpool mineral bath, loofa mitt, and 20-minute Swedish massage goes for $50.
Bathhouse Row is part of Hot Springs National Park. This restored bathouse is the Visitors Center for the park.
Tours of the three floors are offered by guides in period dress, or you can wander around on your own.
The men's bath hall, where the central fountain depicts Hernando de Soto, legendary visitor to the springs in 1541, being offered hot water by a Caddo Indian maiden.
The hydrotherapy room, which looked like a torture chamber to me. Current was added to the water of the tub in the foreground to make an "electric bath." Amazingly, they never killed anyone!
The ceiling displays a stained glass scene entitled Neptune's Daughter. Guys might want to click on the picture to get a larger view of some of the details.
Free water all over town! A little hot, but possibly the purest mineral water in the world today. The water rising in the spring today fell over 3,500 years ago, thereby missing manmade pollutants.
Water from 44 of the hot springs is piped into the 300,000 gallon reservoir beneath the National Park Headquarters. It is then disbursed throughout town.
We also visited the Garvan Woodland Gardens, on the shore of Lake Hamilton. Beautiful flowers, waterfalls, and trails. But I thought the neatest thing was the Anthony Chapel, made of southern yellow pine and glass. The 60-foot high ceiling seems to float among the trees.