• water flowing over rocks into basin

    Hot Springs

    National Park Arkansas

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  • RFP for Maurice and Libbey Bathhouses

    Requests for Proposals for the Maurice and Libbey Bathhouses are being accepted from 7/7/14 to 1/30/15. Click on the "Management" link in the left column for more information.

  • Elevator closure

    Hot Springs National Park regrets to announce that the elevator in the Fordyce Visitor Center is closed for maintenance. The upper and lower levels are accessible only by stairways. The elevator will be placed back into service in about 4 to 6 weeks.

Samuel W. Fordyce


Samuel Fordyce seated in automobile in front of the new Fordyce Bathhouse, circa 1915-1919

Image from Hot Springs National Park archives

Businessman and railroad magnate Samuel Wesley Fordyce (1840-1919) was a key figure in the early development and promotion of Hot Springs as an international spa and resort. He first visited town in 1873 seeking a cure for lingering health problems caused by wounds received while serving in the Civil War. Fordyce was so impressed with the healing thermal waters that he moved his family here to live in 1876.

Fordyce saw the potential of Hot Springs as a world-class health resort and proceeded to do all he could to develop the place and promote the curative powers of its thermal water. He invested heavily in the infrastructure of Hot Springs, partnering in the construction of several large hotels, the city opera house, all municipal utility systems, the street railway system, the local country club, and several bathhouses. He opened the opulent Fordyce Bathhouse in 1915, which today serves as the Visitor Center for Hot Springs National Park.

Did You Know?

black and white head and shoulders shot of James Cary with ranger hat on and building in background

Hot Springs National Park Ranger James Cary was the first National Park Service ranger to be killed in the line of duty. He was shot by bootleggers while patrolling West Mountain on March 12, 1927.