Hot Springs , Arkansas – This is the men’s dressing room in the spa that the National Park Service restored as a museum. The hot springs that feed the spas are unique because the water isn’t heated by volcanic action but by the water percolating down far enough to be heated by the rocks which are hot from gravitational compression. The water is very pure , odorless and good tasting.
The hot springs had been known and used first by Indians and early settlers but the area wasn’t developed as a commercial spa until the early 1800s. The federal government , fearing that many people would lose access to the springs , set up a reserve so that they would have some control over the development and use of the springs. The spas were used as therapy for many different diseases and conditions. During the 1920’s elaborate buildings with stain glass , marble and colored tiles were built. This was also the era of probation and Hot Springs became a gambling mecca and vacation spot for many of the bootleggers.
As medicine was developed for many diseases , the spas lost their popularity and some were abandoned. The National Park Service stepped in to restore the Fordyce Bathhouse as a museum. More pictures herehttp://cid-4ce32117b0082fb8.photos.live.com/browse.aspx/Meandering%20Our%20Way%20North–