• 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.

  • 2015 Artist-in-Residence Program Cancelled

    Due to the 100th anniversary celebration for the Fordyce Bathhouse, there will be no Artist-in-Residence program at Hot Springs National Park for 2015. Check back later next year for announcements and application information for the 2016 AIR program.

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?

copy of lithograph from a publication showing the valley of the hot springs with Hot Springs Creek on the right and two men in the foregroun

Hot Springs Reservation, the first designation of Hot Springs National Park, was set aside by Congress in 1832. This makes Hot Springs National Park the oldest unit in the national park system, 40 years older than Yellowstone National Park.