A century-old book detailing Hot Springs history found in Missouri

Local News

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Taking a trip back in time, that’s what Garland County history buffs are doing after a century-old booklet landed in their laps.

Bill Thornton, who now lives in Missouri, sent the book to City Hall with a letter saying he found it when he was cleaning out his stuff. It is filled with snapshots detailing life in the Spa City in the early 1900’s.

Liz Robbins spends her days at the Garland County Historical Society piecing together pictures from the past.

“It’s delightful to slip into another era for a moment,” Robbins said.

When this book landed on her desk, it transported her back to 1906.

“Oh I thought it was a treasure. There’s a fascination with seeing how people lived, what vehicles they used, the clothes they wore, the architecture,” Robbins said.

Despite trading the shiny cars for a horses and wagons, she does find some buildings still standing.

“It’s amazing how much of its history Hot Springs has held on to,” Robbins said.

As she turns the page, Robbins points out a lot has changed in the last century.

“The Majestic and the annex next to it burned down in 2014 to our great regret,” Robbins said.

This book is full of snapshots preserving what Hot Springs has lost. As Robbins closes this chapter of Hot Springs history, it’s now her job to keep it safe for all who want to flip back in time.

Robbins will digitize all of the pictures. They will be available at the Garland County Historical Society’s website.

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