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 role of African Americans in the bathing industry. These are excerpts from an interactive kiosk program at the park visitor center. You can purchase the entire program from the park's Eastern National store.
Last updated: November 15, 2017