Samuel G. Hamblen

Samuel G. Hamblen
Samuel G. Hamblen

NPS image from HOSP archives

Samuel George Hamblen (1836 - 1908) was the second superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation from 1883 - 1885, best known for arching Hot Springs Creek. Born near Standish, Maine in 1836 Hamblen wanted to become a doctor, but the outbreak of Civil War in 1861 changed his plans. Hamblen rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Union army. After the war he served as a surveyor for the Federal government until President Chester A. Arthur promoted him to the post of superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation.

As superintendent, Hamblen quickly earned a reputation as a stern but talented administrator. Unlike his predecessor, Benjamin Kelly, Hamblen did not hesitate to turn off the water to bathhouse owners who failed to pay their water fees, a policy change that earned him the ire of many bathhouse owners. Hamblen is best remembered for designing and overseeing construction of the stone arch that enclosed Hot Springs Creek, finally eliminating the eyesore and public health menace that had plagued the town since it was founded.

Last updated: November 13, 2017

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