For our 38th wedding anniversary we planned a weekend trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We usually spend one or two weekends a year there. It is less than 4 hours away, and we love the area.
Eureka Springs is a Victorian mountain village that was founded in 1879. Judge J.B. Saunders claimed that his crippling disease was cured by the spring waters. Saunders started promoting Eureka Springs to friends and family members across the State and created a boom town. Within a period of little more than one year, the city grew from a rural village to a major city of 5,000 people. By 1889 it was the second largest city in Arkansas. With bath house cures falling out of favor, and the depression that hit the nation being particularly bad in Arkansas, Eureka Spring fell into decline during the 30's.
With the end of World War II the era of the family car trip began. Businesses and services moved to the highway, rustic tourist courts and air-conditioned motels were built alongside diners and gift shops. Sights that had been horseback adventure were now attractions to the motoring tourist. The motoring public could turn-off Hwy 62 down 62B into the valley, follow the loop through the historic little Victorian city, and come back out on the highway.
Early in the 1960s Beaver Lake was completed, and shortly after that Pea Ridge Battle Field National Military Park was opened. Northwest Arkansas attractions continued to expand the number of tourists passing through the Eureka Springs area. In the 1970s, the public was looking for a different lodging experience. The bed and breakfast concept was a perfect fit for the public and for Eureka Springs.
When we travel to Eureka Springs we like the experience of staying in a bed and breakfast. We have met so many nice people that way. On this trip I was able to get a reservation at Red Bud Manor. We had driven by Red Bud Manor on previous trips and remarked on how inviting the front porch looked. Because they only have 3 rooms and have a perfect score on Trip Advisor, it can be difficult to get a reservation.
Red Bud Manor was built by one of Eureka Springs' famous and historical women, Franciska Massman. She was a businesswoman who was famous for her clear-cutting and homesteading tactics. According to the St. Louis Republican on September 11, 1879, a large part of Eureka Springs was held in claims belonging to Benjamin Woodruff, William Evans and the well-known Franciska Massman who owned and operated a sawmill on Leatherwood Creek. Franciska's home went on to become one of the first Bed and Breakfasts to operate in Eureka Springs in the 1980's.
Our room was named Eureka's Hideaway and like the other rooms in the Manor has it's own outside private entrance. The room was beautifully decorated. it featured a king sized bed with a beautiful iron headboard, original artwork, and a whirlpool tub.
The best features of Red Bud Manor are the front porch and the patio in the back. We enjoyed quiet evenings sitting on the porch and visiting. The front porch is beautifully decorated and just seems to invite conversation.
We have been visiting Eureka Springs once or twice a year for the last thirty years. Over the years we have stayed at a lot of places and had many good experiences, but our stay at Red Bud Manor was the best that we have experienced. Owner Catherine and innkeeper Randee made sure that our every need was taken care of. They were very friendly and by the time we left we felt like we had spent the weekend with old friends. The breakfasts that Randee and Catherine served were beyond description. As much of the produce as possible came fresh from the local farmers market. The wonderful gourmet meals were served in the beautifully appointed dining room on a Chippendale table.
The next time we travel to Eureka Springs, I hope that we will be able to get reservations at Red Bud Manor. It will be a disappointment if we can't.