Friday, January 25, 2008
Blue Spring, Arkansas
Located just outside of Eureka Springs, Blue Spring is one of the most beautiful places in Arkansas. Nestled in the Ozarks, the spring is now the center piece of the Blue Spring Heritage Center, a park area that interprets its natural and cultural history.
An important camping place on the Cherokee Trail of Tears during the 1830s, the spring was a landmark for early settlers of the region. A mill was constructed here during the 1840s, with the flowing water from the spring run as its power source.
Such small industries were targeted throughout Arkansas during the Civil War and the mill at Blue Spring was burned by soldiers. It was part of a larger strategy of defeating the South by denying its residents the means to support the Confederate armies in the field. By destroying mills, crops, stored up supplies and other necessities, citizens were placed in dire straits and prevented from supporting the war effort.
Blue Spring Heritage Center is located off U.S. 62 West about six miles northwest of Eureka Springs. Open during the spring, summer and fall, the park features walking paths, boardwalks, an interpretive center and more.