Arkansas is a nature lover’s paradise, home to expansive stretches of the 47,000-square-mile Ozark Mountain range, the most extensive highland region within the central United States.
Whether you’re looking for upscale accommodations in resort cities such as Hot Springs or luxurious country cabins overlooking majestic lakes and mountain views, these Arkansas resorts offer the perfect travel experience for any visitor.
1. Edwardian Inn
© Edwardian Inn
Edwardian Inn is a charming Colonial Revival-style inn in Helena, recognized as one of Arkansas' most unique bed and breakfast inns. The 1904 hotel, which is housed within the former estate of a prominent regional cotton merchant, is located near the famed Blues Highway and offers convenient access to major area Civil War and natural attractions. Lovely original woodworking is still showcased throughout the inn, including a gorgeous quarter-sawn oak staircase, German wood carpeting, and two lovely 1915 French drop chandeliers. All beautiful guest rooms and suites offer private en suite bathrooms, in-room air conditioning, and amenities such as USB charging hubs, Roku Smart TVs with DirecTV access, and custom toiletries and bath products from Bath Junkie. All guests can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast daily at the hotel before embarking on their regional adventures.
317 Biscoe St, Helena, AR 72342, Phone: 870-338-9155
2. Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
© Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
Lookout Point Lakeside Inn is a luxury Hot Springs bed and breakfast resort overlooking tranquil Lake Hamilton, located less than 10 miles from the attractions of Hot Springs National Park. The spacious resort has been named one of TripAdvisor’s top romantic hotels in the United States, showcasing beautifully landscaped grounds and elegant rooms with amenities such as whirlpool hot tubs, intimate fireplaces, and private patios and balconies. Suite and apartment upgrades are available, featuring full kitchenettes and lakefront decks. Complimentary two-course hot breakfast is served each morning, available in guest rooms or at a centrally-located dining room and patio. A free snack bar is also available daily for guests, and a covered boat dock provides access for canoeing and fishing excursions.
104 Lookout Cir, Hot Springs, AR 71913, Phone: 501-525-6155
3. Flamingo Springs Trailer Resort
© Flamingo Springs Trailer Resort
Flamingo Springs Trailer Resort is a unique trailer park resort experience in Prairie Grove, home to eight custom-designed vintage trailers meant to evoke the spirit of 1950s Palm Springs. The backyard retreat serves as an oasis for road travelers, offering nightly rentals for individuals and small groups. Guests can stay in cleverly-designed trailers like the Christmas-themed Candy Cane Lane, the "Friends"-styled One With The Trailer, or the 1990s-themed Pink Fuzzy Unicorn. All trailers are decked out with retro-themed decor, VHS tapes and players, and a full set of toiletries, towels, and bedroom linens. An outdoor astroturf area and fire pit serves as a communal gathering space, featuring a seasonal pool and access to 50 acres of surrounding wooded area. All guests can make use of the facility's outdoor restrooms, charcoal grills, and indoor game room, which are stocked with Sega Genesis and Atari favorites.
15475 Greasy Valley Rd, Prairie Grove, AR , Phone: 479-824-1021
4. Arlington Resort, Hotel & Spa
© Arlington Resort, Hotel & Spa
Arlington Resort, Hotel and Spa is a historic hotel within Hot Springs National Park, open to the public since 1924. The hotel is located less than a 10-minute walk from Hot Springs’ famed historic Bathhouse Row, providing convenient access to area attractions such as the Hot Springs Golf and Country Club. Inviting rooms and suites showcase elegant traditional furnishings and offer amenities such as mineral-piped showers and tubs. An award-winning Friday Night Seafood Feast and Sunday brunch is served at the Venetian Dining Room, while casual drinks and live entertainment are offered at the Lobby Cafe and Bar. Other attractions include two seasonal outdoor pools, thermal baths, a grand ballroom, and complimentary guest access to nearby golf courses and tennis clubs.
239 Central Ave, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901, Phone: 501-623-7771
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5. 21c Museum Hotel
© 21c Museum Hotel
21c Museum Hotel is a hip boutique art hotel located near the Bentonville Square historic district, offering upscale accommodations connected to a unique contemporary art museum exclusively showcasing the works of 21st-century artists, the first museum of its kind in North America. 104 stylish rooms showcase original contemporary artwork by regional and international artists, along with top amenities such as high-definition televisions, Nespresso machines, and complimentary wireless internet. Suite upgrades feature private living and dining room areas and fully-furnished outdoor terraces. The hotel’s Hive restaurant, overseen by executive chef Matthew McClure, serves refined country cuisine highlighting traditional Arkansas dishes with a modern twist. A fitness center, meeting areas, and an onsite gift shop are also offered, along with complimentary bike rentals for exploring the nearby sights of the city.
5360, 200 NE A St, Bentonville, AR 72712, Phone: 479-286-6500
6. Gaston’s White River Resort
© Gaston’s White River Resort
Family-owned Gaston’s White River Resort started very modestly more than 60 years ago. Back then the resort comprised 20 acres of river frontage, 6 boats and 6 cottages. When you visit today you will find the resort covering more than 400 acres with 79 cottages of various sizes to suite couples, families and even large groups. Gaston’s has always been all about the fishing, and that is still true today. Avid fly-fishermen come from near and far (there is a private air strip) to catch a big one. When you are not out on the river you can enjoy 3 walking/hiking trails, lounge around the pool or play some tennis.
1777 River Rd, Lakeview, AR 72642, 870 431 5202
7. Grand Central Hotel & Spa
© Grand Central Hotel & Spa
Grand Central Hotel and Spa is Eureka Springs’ oldest hotel, constructed in 1883. The Victorian-style red brick hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers convenient access to the attractions of Eureka Springs’ downtown historic district, including the famous Passion Play amphitheater. 14 one and two-bedroom showcase authentic period decor, majestic oak floors, and modern amenities such as full kitchenettes and whirlpool bathtubs. The award-winning Grande Taverne Restaurant serves gourmet fare crafted by executive chef Jeff Clements, and a cocktail lounge offers casual evening relaxation. Other onsite amenities include a historic banquet hall and a full-service day spa.
37 N Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, website, Phone: 479-253-6756
8. Lake Forest Luxury Log Cabins
© Lake Forest Luxury Log Cabins
Lake Forest Luxury Log Cabins offers luxury resort log cabins perfect for romantic getaways within Eureka Springs’ Beaver Lake region. The 14-acre resort was opened in 2007 and offers king bed and queen sleeper sofa accommodations within one and two-story modern log cabins. All cabins sleep two to 10 guests and offer amenities such as private whirlpools, cozy fireplaces, spacious decks with barbecue grills, and full kitchenettes. All cabins are non-smoking facilities, with some accommodating pets upon request. Onsite amenities include an outdoor swimming pool and onsite wireless internet at some locations. Convenient access is provided to nearby attractions such as the Palace Bath House, the famously haunted Crescent Hotel, and the attractions of Eureka Springs’ historic district.
351 Lake Forest Dr, Eureka Springs, AR 72631, Phone: 479-363-9991
9. Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa
© Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa
The Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa has been family-owned and operated since 1955 and has been ranked as the state’s top resort by a number of leading area travel publications. The serene resort overlooks Lake Ouachita in the shadow of Hickory Nut Mountain, offering lakeview lodge rooms with amenities such as coffee makers, mini fridges, and free wireless internet. Studios, poolside cabanas, and two-bedroom cottages are also offered for more spacious accommodations, featuring private decks, kitchenettes, and barbecue grills. Casual dining is available at the resort’s Harbor Lodge Restaurant, while grab-and-go fare is served at Jenn’s Speciality Foods. Other onsite amenities include three outdoor pools, a luxury spa and beauty salon, and the Mountain Harbor Marina, which offers houseboat rentals.
994 Mountain Harbor Rd, Mt Ida, AR 71957, Phone: 870-867-2191
10. Sugar Ridge Resort
© Sugar Ridge Resort
Sugar Ridge Resort is located on an expansive 75-acre resort overlooking Bear Lake, offering 180-degree views of the surrounding Ozark Mountains and providing convenient access to attractions such as the quaint shops and restaurants of downtown Eureka Springs. 12 family and couples’ cabins are available for rental, featuring rustic decor elements such as vaulted ceilings and stone fireplaces and stocked with amenities such as satellite televisions, whirlpool tubs, and private balconies with lake views. Pets are welcome in some cabins for an additional fee, and in-room massage services may be added to daily stays. Nearby, the 1,700-acre Dam Site Park offers 449 miles of lakefront shoreline and opportunities for boating, hiking, and picnicking.
1216 County Rd 113, Eureka Springs, AR 72631, Phone: 479-253-5548
11. The Burgundy Hotel
© The Burgundy Hotel
The Burgundy Hotel is an elegant all-suite Little Rock hotel, located near top attractions such as the Little Rock Zoo, Burns Park, the Verizon Arena, and the Big Dam Bridge. 49 king, queen, and double bed suites featuring private sitting areas, sofa beds, and work desks and are furnished with amenities such as smart televisions and free wireless internet. Six luxury presidential suites upgrade to in-room fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, and wet bars. Fine American cuisine is served in a high-class atmosphere at the hotel’s Table 28 restaurant and bar, and complimentary daily hot breakfast is available in the hotel’s atrium. Other onsite amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a business center, and a seasonal outdoor pool with a fire pit.
1501 Merrill Dr, Little Rock, AR 72211, Phone: 501-224-8051
12. The Cinnamon Valley
© The Cinnamon Valley
The Cinnamon Valley features cozy adults-only getaway holiday cabins within the unparalleled beauty of the Ozark Mountains, nestled on a 140-acre property surrounding two spring fed lakes. One and two-bedroom cottages are furnished with rustic decor and offer forest and lake views, providing bathrooms with spa tubs, full kitchens, private living and dining areas, and outdoor patios with barbecue grills. Amenities include flat screen televisions, microwaves, coffee makers, and free wireless internet. An outdoor seasonal pool is available for guest use, along with a hot tub and whirlpool and massage services. A variety of outdoor activities may be enjoyed on site, including hiking, canoeing, and fishing.
3134 E Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, Phone: 479-244-5942
13. Whispering Hills Cabins
© Whispering Hills Cabins
Whispering Hills Cabins offer luxury log cabin accommodations near the cities of Rogers and Eureka Springs, located around the Beaver Lake reservoir, which offers 487 miles of shoreline and seven full-service marinas for boating and fishing excursion access. The resort’s cabins are perfect for visitors looking for a peaceful getaway in the Ozarks away from more heavily touristed areas. Each cabin offers fully-stocked kitchens, two-person whirlpools, and private decks with patio chairs and charcoal grills. Firewood is stocked during the winter months, and dishwashers and free wireless internet are also available in some cabins. Boat rentals are available at the nearby Lost Bridge Marina, and hiking trails and public swimming beaches are offered at Lost Bridge North and South Park.
20905 Whispering Hills Rd, Garfield, AR 72732, Phone: 479-359-2840
14. Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Bay
© Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Bay
Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Bay is a 14,000-acre resort located near the Van Buren Recreation Area, offering classic Southern hospitality in private accommodations from one of the world’s leading resort chains. One and two-bedroom deluxe Club Wyndham condos feature private balconies, fully-stocked kitchenettes, and separate living areas, while luxury suites and lofts upgrade to personal fireplaces and whirlpool hot tubs. The resort is home to six restaurants, four outdoor swimming pools, a marina, and two 18-hole golf courses, along with a full-service grocery store and a sweet shoppe. Family activities include basketball and tennis courts, a miniature golf course, and children’s playgrounds.
110 Village Ln, Fairfield Bay, AR 72088, Phone: 501-884-7000
15. The Lodge at Mount Magazine
© Courtesy of stocksolutions - Fotolia.com
The Lodge at Mount Magazine is located within the 2,234-acre Mount Magazine State Park, the state’s highest-elevation park, which offers nature trails and hang-gliding experiences. The 60-room upscale lodge offers rustic-chic rooms equipped with flat screen televisions, coffee makers, mini fridges, and free wireless internet. Suites upgrade to whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, and private living room areas, while rental cabins provide secluded accommodations for larger groups or extended stays. The lodge’s Skycrest Restaurant offers casual Southern fare and terrace seating, while a lounge and bar provide relaxation around a cozy fireplace. Other amenities include adult and children’s pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a business and conference center.
577 Lodge Dr, Paris, AR 72855, Phone: 877-665-6343
16. DeGray Lake Resort State Park
© Courtesy of Maria Adelaide Silva - Fotolia.com
DeGray Lake Resort State Park is the only resort state park in the state of Arkansas, offering a wide variety of accommodations and outdoor activities within the foothills of the beautiful Ouachita Mountains. The resort is centered around the 13,800-acre five-diamond DeGray Lake, which offers world-class fishing experiences and outdoor activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, bicycling, and bird watching. The resort’s 96-room lodge showcases casual guest rooms with amenities such as mini fridges, coffee makers, and flat screen televisions, with campsites and Mongolian-style yurts also available seasonally throughout the park. Onsite amenities include a championship 18-hole golf course, a seasonal outdoor pool, a convention center, and a lakefront restaurant serving breakfast daily.
2027 State Park Entrance Rd, Bismarck, AR 71929, Phone: 501-865-5810
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17. Best Western’s Inn of the Ozarks
© Best Western’s Inn of the Ozarks
Located close to historic Eureka Springs, Best Western’s Inn of the Ozarks is beautifully nestled on 35 acres of the Ozark Mountains. The guestrooms are spacious and comfortable, and you have the choice of 1 King or 2 Queen Beds. Some of the rooms have private balconies with great views while some have whirlpool tubs – be sure to request one of these when you book. On-site hotel amenities include a sparking outdoor pool (with great mountain views), a games room and miniature golf. The hotel is right on the popular Eureka Springs Trolley route, making it easy for guests to get to town.
207 W. van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632,
479 253 9768
18. Copper John’s Resort
© Copper John’s Resort
Offering legendary Ozark fishing on the White River, Copper John’s Resort is peacefully tucked away off River Road. The property offers a variety of accommodation options including serviced RV sites with full hook-up and modest camper cabins with bunk beds, a microwave, mini fridge and coffee pot. There are also 10 larger cabins in various sizes and configurations which are comfortably furnished with everything you need including TV and kitchens. Some of these have excellent riverfront balconies. When you are not fishing you can enjoy hiking and wildlife watching or play a round of golf nearby. If you don’t feel like cooking you can head into Lakeview for dinner.
469 River Road, Lakeview, AR 72642, 877 828 7688
19. Angler’s White River Resort
© Angler’s White River Resort
At Angler’s White River Resort you can choose from a variety of accommodation options to suit your tastes and budget. If you love camping you can bring along your RV or tent and enjoy getting back to nature in the heart of the Ozarks. The campground is located on the banks of Sycamore creek where you can enjoy a half-mile beach. There are 100 campsites with full hookup and great amenities including a swimming pool, kayak rental and various games. Rental RV’s are available. The comfy 2 and 3-bedroom White River Cabins are fully equipped with all you need for a great getaway.
23080 AR-5, AR 72050, 870 585 2226
20. Graduate, Fayetteville
© Avirut S/stock.adobe.com
Fayetteville is scenically nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains, placing visitors in the ideal location to explore many local attractions. The Graduate Hotel is probably one of the most colorful hotels you have ever stayed in, offering comfortable but undoubtedly eclectic rooms. The décor is bright and cheerful, following a “mix and clash” theme which somehow works to set the hotel apart and provide a unique ambiance that celebrates the artistic vibe of the town. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center and on-site restaurant and bar, and guests have complimentary use of bikes for exploring.
70 N. East Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701, 479 442 5555
21. 1905 Basin Park Hotel, Eureka Springs
Located in the heart of downtown Eureka Springs, the 1905 Basin Park Hotel has been a prominent city landmark for more than 100 years. When you check in today, you can expect a thoroughly updated guestroom or suite with all the modern conveniences. If you choose one of the specialty suites you can expect a romantic 4-poster king bed and an in-room tub or whirlpool. The hotel has its own parking area and operates a shuttle to bring you to the hotel after you have parked. On-site amenities include the Balcony Bar and Restaurant and Jack Rabbett’s Whisky Bar and the 1905 Spa.
12 Spring Street, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, 877 643 4972
22. The Waters, Hot Springs
Forming part of the prestigious Hilton Tapestry Collection, the Waters Hot Springs Hotel is perfectly located directly opposite Bathhouse Row. The spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites offer visitors a comfortable and welcoming retreat after a busy day of exploring all the wonders of the Hot Springs National Park. There is an on-site fitness center and more than 100 shops, restaurants and bars in close proximity. Of course, your visit would be incomplete without visiting at least one of the beautifully preserved historic bath houses for a relaxing soak in the healing waters. Afterwards, you can enjoy a drink at the rooftop bar, which offers sweeping views of the town.
340 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901, 501 321 0001
23. Capital Hotel, Little Rock
© Capital Hotel
For more than 140 years the Capital Hotel in Little Rock has been welcoming visitors from all corners of the US and beyond. The Capital perfectly combines old-world character and modern-day convenience, making this hotel the ideal choice for visitors to Little Rock. The guest rooms and suites come in various shapes and sizes and are comfortable, elegant and restful. In-room amenities include robes and slippers, block-out curtains (for those lazy holiday sleep-ins), luxury Molten Brown Bath Products, luxury linens and complimentary Wi-Fi. There are two on-site restaurants where you can enjoy dinner and drinks after a busy day of sightseeing.
111 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501 374 7474
24. The Hotel Hot Springs
© The Hotel Hot Springs
Offering visitors to Hot Springs National Park the ideal place to stay, the modern and elegant Hotel Hot Springs is within easy walking distance of historic downtown Hot Springs. The hotel is attached to the Hot Springs Convention Center and is ideal for both business and leisure visitors. The recently-refurbished guest rooms provide sleek and elegant spaces where you can relax or work in comfort, enjoying complimentary Wi-Fi and your own Keurig coffee maker. Each room also has a trouser press, microwave and mini-fridge and everyone can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning. The Inside Track Grill and Sports Lounge will take care of all your dining needs.
305 Malvern Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901, 501 623 6600
25. Inn at the Mill, Springdale
© Inn at the Mill, Springdale
The Inn at the Mill is a brilliant choice for visitors who would like to be within easy striking distance of many of Springdale’s best attractions. Located just off I S 49, the Inn at the Mill occupies a fully-renovated historic building which perfectly combines timeless architectural elements with all the modern conveniences today’s travelers demand. The individually-decorated guestrooms are spacious and elegant and you can reserve one which offers additional little luxuries like a 2-person whirlpool bath and a private balcony. There is an on-site fitness center and free continental breakfast is served every morning. Restaurants, shops and bars are just a short drive away.
3906 Johnson Mill Blvd, Springdale, AR 72762, 479 443 1800
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Attraction Spotlight: Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott, Arkansas is the refurbished home and barn studio of Pauline and Mary Pfeiffer, parents to Pauline Pfeiffer, the second wife of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author, Ernest Hemmingway. The home and barn have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. Both the home and the barn were built in 1910 by W. D. “Buck” Templeton. The property was purchased in 1913 by Paul and Mary Pfeiffer, Pauline’s parents, and Pauline grew up in the home.
The Hemingways frequently visited the home through the 1930’s during their marriage. Pauline’s sister converted the barn into a studio space for Hemingway to write in while the couple stayed in Piggott. Hemingway wrote portions of ‘Farewell to Arms’ as well as several short stories in the barn. The story, “A Day’s Wait” was written specifically about Pauline and Ernest Hemingway’s 1932 visit to the Piggott, Arkansas home. During this visit, the barn studio caught fire and most all of Hemingway’s possessions were lost. Evidence of the fire may still be seen at the museum today, although the barn has since been repaired. Exhibits at the museum emphasize themes of literature and world events of the 1930’s, family and life in the 1930’s, and northeast Arkansas’ development during the New Deal era and the Great Depression. The site has been restored by Arizona State University, which currently owns the property. The University used an aerial photo from 1937 to map the original property, and the home and the barn have been restored to their 1930’s glory through cross-reference of letters, photographs and oral histories. Many items in the home belonged to the Pfeiffers, including a collection of Stickley furniture.
History: Pauline Pfeiffer met Ernest Hemingway and his first wife in 1925 when she was living and working in Paris as an editor for Vogue magazine. She became close friends with the Hemingways, and began to spend more and more time with them. Over a Christmas ski holiday to Austria, Ernest and Pauline began an affair that would eventually lead to divorce for Ernest, and his marriage to Pauline in 1927. Hemingway’s home in Key West, Florida, was a gift from Pauline’s uncle, who remained a financial benefactor of the couple throughout their marriage. The Hemingways spent their 13-year marriage traveling between the home of Pauline’s parents in Arkansas, the home in Florida, and Europe and Africa. Hemingway’s marriage to Pauline fell apart in 1940 when he met Martha Gelhorn, a journalist who would become his third wife.
Paul and Mary Pfeiffer, Pauline’s parents, were prominent residents of Arkansas and owned more than 60,000 acres of property, much of which they converted to farmland and leased to tenant farmers. The property in which Pauline and Ernest Hemingway lived was acquired from Beatrice Janes and her husband in 1997 by Arkansas State University. The Janes had purchased the property in 1950 after the death of Pualine’s mother Mary Pfeiffer, the last of the Pfeiffers to live in the home. The Museum and Educational Center opened in 1999, the same year of Hemingway’s 100th birthday. The home was the University’s first Heritage Site. Today, the University manages eight such heritage sites, which provide educational resources for students of the University as well as the general public. The mission of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center is to contribute to the understanding of the 1920’s and 1930’s through the socially elite Pfeiffer family, and the writing and life of Ernest Hemingway. The Education Center aims to foster interest in literature and writing by leveraging Hemingway’s fame as a noted American author.
Ongoing Programs and Education: The museum offers guided 90-minute tours daily, every hour on the hour. Groups should schedule in advance. School tours for students in grades 4 through 12 can be customized to focus a particular area of study. Most tours explore the economics of the Depression era, popular architectural, fashion and music styles of the 1920’s and 30’s, and the short stories of Hemingway. The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center is host to two annual writer’s retreats. Writers from all backgrounds and experience levels are invited to work in Hemingway’s barn studio and receive mentorship from noted authors. Past mentors have included Garry Craig Powell, a novelist and associate professor at the University of Central Arkansas, and Andrea Hollander, a poet from Portland, Oregon.
1021 West Cherry Street Piggott, Arkansas 72454, Phone: 870-598-3487
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Attraction Spotlight: Rush Historic District
Located within the Buffalo National River area of the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, the Rush Historic District preserves a historic zinc mining district from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which served a major role in the development of modern railroads and infrastructure in the southeastern United States. Human inhabitation of the Ozark Mountain area dates back at least to 10,000 B.C. and the hunters of the Paleoindian period, though there is very little recorded history of peoples in the Ozarks prior to the arrival of Europeans in North America.
Though major expedition and missionary groups passed through the southeastern United States during the 17th and 18th centuries, no record of European settlement along the Buffalo River was recorded until the 1820s, although displaced Cherokee indigenous people had begun to settle alongside native Osage people as early as 1800.
Early settlement in the Buffalo River area was regulated by federal surveys and stalled by the start of the American Civil War, with settlement primarily taking the form of small personal farms, but in 1880, large deposits of ore were discovered along the banks of the Buffalo River by John Wolfer, an early prospector in the area. Miners initially thought the discovered deposits were silver, but soon realized that they had found zinc instead. After the initial deposit claim was purchased by George Chase, who established the Morning Star Mining Company, a mining rush ensued to the Rush Valley and Clabber Creek areas. By the 1890s, the area had become a major mining and economic center, containing 2,000 to 5,000 people at its peak, with a large community of homes arising around the Morning Star mine facilities. At the height of its operation, 10 companies operated 13 minutes in the district, the most of any mining center in the North Arkansas District.
The mining district reached its peak during World War I, as mines worked to produce zinc for war efforts. The end of World War I saw the migration of many workers away from the Rush District, although free-oreing policies helped keep local mining activity alive throughout the early 20th century. Following World War II, however, several local processing mills were dismantled, and the closing of the area’s post office in the 1950s turned the area into a ghost town by the following decade.
As a result of campaigning by the Ozark Society in the late 1960s, the Buffalo River was protected as the United States’ first National River in 1972, ending plans for construction of a dam. The remaining zinc mining sites in the area were incorporated as a Historic District connected to the National River, preserving the district’s remaining mines, buildings, and ruins.
Permanent Attractions and Exhibits
Today, several dozen extant structures are incorporated into the Historic District, including town buildings that showcase the life and community of area miners. Remnants of several of the original mine facilities are still visible, including the old engine of the Monte Cristo Mine, the remains of the McIntosh Mining Company’s processing mill, and ruins of the White Eagle Mine, one of the area’s earliest mining ventures. Foundational piers from the 1911 remodeling of the Morning Star Processing Mill are visible, along with the entrances to several other mines, viewable from a hiking trail that begins near the District’s parking lot. A short-lived processing mill transplanted from a Missouri facility in the 1960s is also visible. Other products of mining activity are visible in the district, including a stone silver smelter constructed in 1886, the remains of a livery barn destroyed by arson, and the Ore Wagon Road used to transport zinc to barges on the White River. A Tailing Mound also showcases residue from the mill concentration process.
Several preserved personal and commercial structures highlight the cultural life of miners in the district, including the Rush Ghost Town area, which showcases a row of clapboard houses dating back to around 1899. The Taylor-Medley Store was the site of the town’s post office until the 1950s, and the Hicks Store sold goods until it was remodeled as a personal residence in the 1960s. Part of the forge of a Blacksmith Shop from 1925 remains, and remains from the New Town Area, which sprung up around the Yellow and Edith processing mills, are also visible.
The district may be viewed either via a driving route or on foot through a number of walking and hiking trails. Mine ruins are fenced off for safety and may not be entered, and visitors are encouraged to exercise caution on trails due to hazards and river area conditions. Access to a primitive campground area is offered for a fee, equipped with cooking grills and picnic tables.
402 N. Walnut Street, Suite 136, Harrison, AR 72601, Phone: 870-439-2502
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Attraction Spotlight: President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace
Located in Hope, Arkansas, the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home is a National Historic Site commemorating the family home and birthplace of United States President Bill Clinton. William Jefferson Clinton, née William Jefferson Blythe III, was born in Hope, Arkansas on August 19, 1946 to Virginia Dell Cassidy. His father, William Jefferson Blythe Jr., was a traveling salesman who was killed in an automobile accident en route to Hope for Clinton’s birth.
Clinton was raised during his early life by his maternal grandparents, James Eldridge Cassidy and Edith Grisham, after his mother moved to New Orleans to pursue a career in nursing. After Virginia Cassidy returned from nursing school, she remarried Roger Clinton Sr., whose surname Clinton adopted at the age of fifteen.
As an adolescent, Clinton was an avid saxophonist and considered pursuing a career in music performance, but instead decided to pursue a career in public service after developing an interest in law study in high school. He attended Georgetown University and the University of Oxford, though he did not complete his degree at the latter institution. He later received a law degree from Yale Law School, where he met his future wife, Hillary Rodham. Clinton served as Arkansas Attorney General from 1977 to 1979 before being elected as the state’s 40th governor. In 1992, he was elected as the 42nd President of the United States, serving two terms of service, during which he was noted as a major proponent of New Democrat “Third Way” centrist policies, which blends elements of social liberalism and fiscal conservatism to promote egalitarianism through action facilitating the distribution of skills. Though he was formally impeached in 1998 on the grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice related to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton left office in 2001 with the highest approval rating of any American president since the end of World War II, and remains a prominent social activist and public speaker, working with United Nations humanitarian efforts such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
Permanent Attractions and Exhibits
The President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home preserves the house of Eldridge Cassidy and Grisham, located at 117 South Hervey Street in the city of Hope, Arkansas, where Clinton lived for the first four years of his life. The modest two-and-a-half-story frame house is designed in the American foursquare style, was constructed in 1917 by Dr. H. S. Garrett before its purchase by Clinton’s grandparents in 1946. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and converted into a National Historic Site under the care of the National Park Service in 2010. Since 1994, the home has been open for public tours, managed by the Clinton Birthplace Foundation.
A Museum Exhibit Visitor Center located adjacent to the birthplace home contains a variety of rotating temporary exhibits, highlighting aspects of Clinton’s young life in Hope, his political career, and his enduring legacy. An electronic kiosk at the Center allows visitors to browse through photographs of Clinton’s early life at the Hervey Street house, including preserved footage of the home before its later renovation. The Center also contains a museum store, offering a selection of Clinton’s favorite books along with Fair Trade art items, meant to reflect Clinton’s Global Initiative policies during his term in office.
Tours of the historic home are conducted every half hour throughout the operating day, beginning at 9:00am. The interior of the home has been restored in large part to its condition while Clinton resided at the house, with original detail such as the turned-baluster living room staircase and the second-floor hallway beaded boards remaining intact. Original items belonging to Clinton during his young life, such as a Lionel train set he received as a present from his stepfather in the 1950s, are displayed in exhibits at the house. A memorial garden on the house’s grounds, the Virginia Cassidy Blythe Clinton Kelley Memorial Garden, is dedicated to the memory of Clinton’s mother.
Though the Historic Site is managed by the National Park Service, the 501(c) nonprofit Clinton Birthplace Foundation organization still oversees the preservation of the home site and the management of daily touring. Through the continual expansion of historical exhibits to include more images and memorabilia from Clinton’s young life, the organization strives to foster public understanding of the social, cultural, and personal history that helped shape Clinton’s ideologies, and in turn, shaped the global policies of his administration and their lasting effects on modern society. Though the organization does not conduct public special events, private Founders Gatherings honor the restoration and preservation work of Foundation members in maintaining the site as a public living history museum.
117 South Hervey Street, Hope, AR 71801, Phone: 870-777-4455
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