This picture is a Hot Springs farmer with some of his 100 pound watermelons..

(Photo courtesy of the Garland County Historical Society)

What makes Hot Springs so special? Although Hot Springs is a quaint little town nestled in the Ouachita (pronounced wash-it-aw) Mountains, its past is very colored, to say the least.

These not-so-well-known facts reveal the good and the bad of a town with character – a town that brought us an American president….. and more.


Doc Smith’s Humor and History of Hot Springs: 

  • 53 blocks of our finest buildings were destroyed by fire in 1913.
  • The White Socks Baseball Club had a farm team here for many years called the “Hot Springs Bathers.”
  • An 11 acre compound operated by the government for venereal diseases was located in the Gorge.
  • Tommy Freeman, the boxer who fought Jack Dempsey for the world Championship, lived here.
  • The National Arthritis foundation is located here.
  • Walgreen's second store was built here.
  • Oral Roberts started his evangelistic program here.
  • Al Jolson, the famous black-face comedian, married a girl from here.
  • Some horse trainers ship Mountain Valley Spring water from here for their horses.
  • A fish weighing 95 pounds, an Isralie Carp, was caught here in Lake Hamilton recently.
  • The Japanese once had a plant here with 23 employees for processing crystals.
  • A fine young married couple lost $23,000.00 at the races. (where did they get that kind of money?) She was employed by a bank and he by a large company. They both went to the pen.
  • Jo Ann Castle, famous with the Lawrence Welk Show, lived here and owned a house. Why would she move?

Dr. Rando   P.h.D. of Wit



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