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Old Mar 27, 2008, 5:33 PM   #1
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When Hernando DeSoto and his Spanish expedition "discovered" Hot Springs in the 16th century, Native Americans were already visiting it for its healing waters. So, it was no surprise that when the town began to grow among the first significant buildings were public bathouses.

The structure highlighted by the red circle is the Staat Bathouse about 1875.

(Photo used is from the National Parks Service collection of Hot Springs photos and is in the public domain, as is noted on the NPS web page "Information presented on this website, unless otherwise indicated , is considered in the public domain. It may may be distributed or copied as is permitted by the law.")
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Old Mar 27, 2008, 5:34 PM   #2
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Today, the site of the Staat is occupied by the Fordyce Bathouse and is used as a museum and visitors center by the National Parks Service.
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Old Mar 27, 2008, 9:21 PM   #3
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Trojansoc,

Is the Forduce Bathouse a restoration of the old Staat bathouse?

The level of details in the current photo is quite good. Nice shooting.
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Old Mar 27, 2008, 9:43 PM   #4
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Selvin,

No, the Staat,along withmost of the other wooden bathouses, was destroyed by fire in 1878 (photo below). At that time, the springs simply drained into an open creek that ran through the downtown. The bathouses were built straddling it to take advantage of the running hot water. After the Great Fire of 1878, the creek was covered to protect it and the main street of the city was built over it. Water was then piped to the bathouses, and the bathouses were built on the North side of the street. Thus, in the photo below, the site of the Fordyce is probably about50-60 feet back from the bank of the original creek. One spring was left uncovered and can still be viewed by visitors today.
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Old Mar 28, 2008, 6:16 AM   #5
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Trojansoc,

Thanks for the details. They fill in the background to the photos.
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