Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller Expedition Date: October 12, 2019
We took a fascinating tour of the NP Visitor Center & History Museum, formerly one of the therapeutic spas. called the Fordyce Bath House. Opened in 1915, The Fordyce Bath House in 1915, had the best reviews rating it as the best along the Hot Springs row. The three story spa plus basement cost $212,000 to build. The tour gave us a personal insight of the spa back then in all its glamour.
The first floor baths (Photo#1#3 ) were all marble floors with a stained glass ceiling. The second floor contained dressing rooms and private massage rooms (Photo#6). Electro-therapy was once considered part massage therapy (Photo#7). The third floor contained a music room with a grand piano plus gymnasium that gave us a glimpse of the today’s modern heath club. The basement contains an original Otis elevator and a view of the Fordyce Hot Spring that runs under the bath house.
An interesting historical note – Photo #5 shows Mercury Rubbing (Massage) Rates. Yes, they used to give therapeutic mercury rubs not knowing the horrible effect it would have on the body. In the old days mercury was used in making hats and would drive some men crazy – hence the phrase “Crazy as a Mad Hatter”.
We camped at the Hot Springs KOA Campground. That night it dipped to 39 degrees, perfect for roasting marshmellows over our campfire. the gymnasium, the forerunner of modern gym.