Houses rise tier above tier, and cling to the mountain side in peril of falling upon each other.
The Daily Graphic — May 9, 1882
Eureka Springs – A City built in less than Three Years
"On approaching Eureka Springs from Gateway by stage coach, the region is wild, sparsely inhabited, mountainous, and at places the scenery becomes fascinating. Two miles from White River, Leatherwood Creek, a typical mountain stream, sullen and moody, now a gentle brook fishing merrily in the sunbeams, and now a perfect torrent, is met, and following its winding course, the city is finally reached.
"The roads are rough; the heavy Concord coaches have been dragged over boulders and rocks and through mud and deep ruts at a plodding rate until every bone aches, and you are glad when the city is sighted.
"But your weariness is soon dispelled for it, the novelty of the ride and quiet beauty of the scenery have not compensated for the tediousness of the journey, the scene as you catch the first glimpse of the city will balance the account. The counterpart cannot be found in all America.
"The mountains are 600 to 1000 feet high. Six or more gulches meet forming the city’s site and on the sides of the various mountains with scarcely a foot of level ground, the city has been built.
"The houses rise tier above tier, and cling to the mountain side like a frightened monkey to a bareback horse, each structure being in immediate peril of going roof first into the gulch below. The streets, at places are eighty feet apart from one to the other, are fully half that distance above each other on the incline; they mount one above the other like giant steps; the buildings, one story in front but four stories in the rear, or vice versa.
"Building lots for structures of any importance are gained only by blasting and so rapidly is this being pushed that each arrival may well imagine the constant sound of dynamite blasting to be so many salutes fired in his honor.
"The entire city with the exception of one building, is built of pine. With less than half a dozen exceptions, the structures are mere shanties, hardly worthy of the name of “houses,” although perhaps a few hotels and some of the larger boarding houses should also be excepted.
"But in June 1879, where now stands Eureka Springs, with 12,000 to 15,000 inhabitants, (as estimated in 1882) the primeval quiet had scarcely been disturbed."
"From the North, East and West — the springs (Eureka Springs) can be easiest reached via St. Louis, (MO;) thence over Line St. Louis; and San Francisco line. From this point, Conant and Company's Stage Line and a number of hacks and private conveyances carry the traveler over the remaining eighteen miles to the Springs."