People of Ral City on Hot Springs Mountain
People of "Ral City" on Hot Springs Mountain, 1878

National Park Service image from HOSP archives

Humans have been coming to this area for thousands of years to quarry the Novaculite stone found on the hilltops and to partake of the hot and cold spring water flowing from the ground. Europeans first came to stay beginning in the early 1800s, mostly to soak in the supposedly healing geothermal waters coming out of Hot Springs Mountain. Others came later to work in the bathhouses or in nearby businesses associated with the bathing industry.

Explore this section to learn more about the people involved in the history of Hot Springs National Park.

Read about the roles of African Americans in the bathing industry. These are excerpts from an interactive kiosk program at the park visitor center.

A female ranger delivers a program near one of the thermal springs.


Learn more about the stories of Hot Springs National Park.

A view into a preserved room from 1918 in the Fordyce Bathhouse.


Learn more about the various museum collections and archives at the Park.

Last updated: June 16, 2020

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Mailing Address:

101 Reserve Street
Hot Springs , AR 71901


(501) 620-6715

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