Since I posted a birds eye view of “bath house row” on yesterdays blog, I thought it would be fitting to post information about the inside of a bath house. The rich and poor came many miles to experience the hot mineral springs in the 1800’s and the city of Hot Springs built up around them.
Very early on the stagecoach would travel between Little Rock and Hot Springs bringing folks in search of healing waters. It is a distance of 55 miles and would take one and a half days to travel.
In the early 1900’s eight very elegant bathhouses were constructed all in a row. Only one, the Buckstaff Bath, is still in operation.
As luck would have it the Fordyce Bath House (the most elaborate) also serves as the visitor center. The building has been renovated to it’s original splendor and a free self guided tour is available for viewing. Today’s blog has quite a few pictures to upload, so I am posting them in small format. For those that may not be aware, you may double click any picture and it will open for larger viewing. The first pictures are of the main lobby which is marble with intricate tile flooring and stain glass windows.
The next pictures are of the women’s bath areas, dressing rooms, cooling room, hydro-therapy and steam room.
even a beauty parlor…(little blurred)
The center section of the main floor was a very large area for the men with a statue under a large stain glass canopy.
The second floor housed both the men’s and women’s dressing rooms as well as a separate roof top courtyard area for nude bathing and a sitting parlor. Interestingly enough the women’s nude bathing area was shielded from sunlight in order for them to retain the, then popular, fair skin.
The third floor housed the gymnasium and a music room for socializing .
How different life is today.