Eureka eye-water … soap?

The healing waters of Eureka Springs were first bottled and marketed as healing eye water, but their uses and applications quickly expanded to include things like … soap? Yep.

Advertisement for Eureka Springs Concentrating Co.
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Motor-car tragedy

This motor-car (they’re sometimes called “doodlebugs”) was ordered and built for the Missouri & North Arkansas Railway in 1912, shortly after the railroad once again went into receivership. Cheaper to operate than a steam locomotive and coaches for passenger work, the motor-cars were intended to preserve that service. They were luxurious and electrically-illuminated inside.

No. 102 served the Joplin-Eureka Springs route, and her twin sister No. 103 plied the rails between Heber Springs and Helena, the third district. Sadly, just as described in the first novel in my Cycle, “The Water Cure,” No. 102 collided with a steam train near Tipton Ford, Missouri in 1914. Forty-three persons died on the motor-car, including the three-man crew.

This postcard, which I lucked into on eBay, features a builder’s photo of the motor-car and was used for advertising purposes.

Builder’s photograph postcard of North Arkansas Line motor-car, 1912
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Eureka Springs historical markers

Did you know that you can view most (if not all) of Eureka Springs’ many historical markers at The Historical Markers Database?

(From the site)

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Antique stereoviews of Eureka Springs

Stereo-views of picturesque Eureka Springs in the 1880s-90s, where much of the action of the “People of the Water” cycle is set. You can view many, if not all, of these in an antique stereo-viewer at the Eureka Springs Historical Museum. (I’ll try to add more in later posts.)

I believe this is the second “Flatiron Building” at the intersection of Spring Street (left) and Main Street (right).
A group photograph taken at the Harding Spring.
Another Harding Spring group photo, with the “Lover’s Leap” steamboat-bow formation visible in the background.
The Basin Park, with the Southern Hotel visible in the background. It was damaged in an 1890 fire, and destroyed by one in 1932.
Harding Spring is visible in the background of this photo of stylish women posing on its boardwalk.
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Orion splashes down safely!

If the return and splashdown of NASA’s Orion capsule yesterday was of interest to you, you might be intrigued by the opening chapter of The Water Cure. It begins with a classified mission to investigate an object “winking” in and out of orbit, the disappearance of its commander and an unscheduled de-orbit and landing in a thunderstorm.

And to order The Water Cure, click on this link:

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Water is Life

Water is sacred to most indigenous tribes in North America. This is an interesting paper out of Sacred Heart University.

Quote from Wabiboquay Otsoquaykhwan
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Book Banning Week

It’s always the last full week in September. This year, it begins today, September 18 and closes out on the 25th.

Here are three titles sure to be banned when they become more well-known because, you know, you can’t have characters who are of nonconformist sexuality who are freakin’ brilliant and have their own spirituality in books that impressionable young people could read and perhaps, in this fiction, learn more about being good and decent and accepting in the real world.

Triptych of the three book covers in the “People of the Water” Cycle: The Water Cure, The Crystalline Clarity, The Aqueous Solution
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The NASA Railroad

Once upon a time, there was actually a NASA Railroad. Then it was closed, and its switcher locomotives donated away. Then it was reopened two years ago to handle heavy equipment needed for the SLS (Space Launch System), of which the Artemis 1 mission later this month is a part.

Readers of the second book of the “People of the Water” Cycle may recall that two characters crossed paths with one of those locomotives, late in the narrative of The Crystalline Clarity. So far as I know, the NASA Railroad has never had a fatal auto collision accident in its history like the one described in the novel.

By odd coincidence, the former NASA switchers were EMD SW1500 locomotives, similar to the older EMD SW1 locomotive that pulls the luncheon and dinner trains at the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway. (But another post for another time about that.)

Locomotive #3 outside of the maintenance shops at KSC

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Skylab Rescue Mission

Readers of The Water Cure may recall that the secret Skylark mission’s purpose in the novel was obscured with the fiction that the launch would lift an unmanned, remotely-operated Apollo command/service module spacecraft to dock with the Skylab space station in orbit, providing an escape module for astronauts there in the event that their spacecraft were to malfunction.

There actually were plans for a Skylab Rescue Mission, if needed, using a Saturn 1B booster and an Apollo spacecraft to be flown by two astronauts with extra acceleration seats affixed within its command module.

This Wikipedia article summarizes the history of the effort which, fortunately, was never needed — in spite of some concern over one Apollo craft’s RCS (Reaction Control System) thrusters, vital in turning and orienting the spacecraft.

An illustration of the interior of the Apollo command module, configured with two head-to-toe inverted seats near the heat shield and the usual three seats for the astronauts flying the mission. A stowage locker for mission data, film and other items rests between the lower seats.
Skylab Rescue Mission: Command Module Diagram (artist’s conception)
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The 1886 Crescent Hotel

This towering trademark of Eureka Springs not only has a unique place in the town’s history, but in the flow of the People of the Water Cycle as well.

Two characters attend the hotel’s grand opening ball in the first book, The Water Cure, and another spends a few nights there in its third book The Aqueous Solution, haunted in a different way than most of the overnight guests of the Crescent have reported.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel is still in operation, after several renovations restoring her to her original glory as the grand dame of the Ozarks, and you can reserve a room at this website e-mail address. With a little luck and good timing, you might even be able to reserve one of the known “haunted” rooms! You’ll definitely want to book one of the ghost tours and learn more about its haunted history.

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