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SUPERINTENDENT OF THE HOT SPRINGS RESERVATION.
HOT SPRINGS RESERVATION,
Hot Springs, Ark., June 30, 1899. SIR: I have the honor to respectfully submit my annual report of the Hot Springs Reservation for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1899, briefly reviewing the general conditions at this time and enumerating the several items of improvement accomplished since my last report.
The number of persons visiting Hot Springs for health and pleasure durivg this period have been by far the largest in the history of the place; the hotels and bath houses have enjoyed a good business, and, so far as I have been able to observe, those using the baths have been greatly benefited.
Since the removal of this office to a more convenient location, the number of applications made both in person and by letter for information about Hot Springs have increased to such an extent that it has been with much difficulty that I could collect sufticient reliable printed matter with which to supply the demand. I conclude from this not alone but as well from the high order of intelligence of the people visiting “the springs” for the past several years, that the future of Hot Springs as the standard health and pleasure resort of the United States is well assured. That this desirable condition has been brought about by the Government's prudent control of the hot waters and the improvements heretofore made and now being continued, is not to be doubted.
By the act of Congress approved April 20, 1832, four sections of land embracing all the hot waters were set aside and reserved for the future disposal of the United States. From this period or even earlier the hot waters seem to have attracted considerable attention from the Indians, the earliest settlers, and others, who in the meantime had set up separate claims to this land embracing all the hot waters. In 1851 and 1852 these claims began to come prominently before the courts, and from that time on until they were finally decided adversely to all the claimants by the Supreme Court of the United States, they attracted almost national attention. In the meantime a considerable population had settled on the original reservation, having acquired a shadow of title from the original claimants or those holding under
them; and it was this condition which brought about the necessity for the act of Congress approved March 3, 1877, authorizing the appointment of commissioners to survey and lay out the laud in blocks, lots, streets, courts, and alleys, and pass upon the rights of settlers to purchase their claims at a price fixed by the Government.
Under this provision all the tracts and parcels of land surveyed and platted by the commissioners were sold to the claimants or otherwise disposed of except 476, the title to which remained in the hands of the Government without the right to purchase being awarded to anyone. Two separate sales of these unawarded lots have since been had under authority of the Department, the first being at Little Rock on May 6, 1884, at which 149 lots were sold for the aggregate sum of $29,803. The second sale was held at Hot Springs April 12, 1892, at which 170 lots were sold for the sum of $74,255, leaving still in the hands of the Government 157 of these unawarded lots, the value of which at this time is estimated to be $75,000.
By the act of Congress approved June 16, 1880, the mountainous districts of the Hot Springs Reservation, known as North Mountain, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and West Mountain, together with Hot Springs Mountain, were forever reserved from sale and dedicated to public use as parks, to be known as the Permanent Reservation.
These, with the Whittington Avenue Reservation, comprise 911.63 acres, divided as follows:
Hot Springs Mountain Reservation..
Acres. 264.93 224. 74 129.02 281.94 11.00
The liot springs, which are 73 in number, issue from the side and base of Hot Springs Mountain, the waters from each being secured at the source and conveyed through pipes laid from one to several feet under ground to the bath houses and reservoirs. The actual quantity of hot water discharged by all these springs is not definitely known, but that which is required for the daily supply of the bath houses is 538,000 gallons, the maximum supply for each tub being estimated at 1,000 gallons per day. The hot water which is under control in addition to this is about 300,000 gallons, and is conveyed through a system of pipes to the impounding reservoir and discharged through it into Hot Springs Creek. The total daily supply of hot water under control at present is estimated to be 888,000 gallons. I think it probable that with careful development and the use of suitable pumps to raise the water from the lower levels, the total supply of hot water might be increased to 1,000,000 gallons each twenty-four hours. The temperature and elevation of each of the hot springs is indicated by the following table:
Springs on Hot Springs Mountain Reservation.
[Datum of levels: The lowest point on the Hot Springs Reservation, being on the east side where the
Hot Springs Railroad enters the same, approximates 500 feet above the tide water of the Gulf.]
45 246 47 48 49 50 51 52 53
91.4 98.7 98 98.3 115.6 171.6 172. 2 117.5 179. 6 181. 2 120 117.5 85. 2 84. 3 84.7 135.8 140 158 159.3 162.8 107 118. 2 123.8 127.7 127.7 127.9 130.3 129.4 140.4 148.3 133. 2 95.7 89.8 91.8 91.8 90.4 155.5
91 131 145 144 142 145.5 146 122 133 128
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
32 33 34 35 36 37
131 83 89 94 122 122
Under Big Iron bath house. ? Under bath house on hill.
3 Inaccessible; near Arsenic spring.
With the increased attention directed to Hot Springs in the last few years comes the demand for more specific information. Especially is this noted in the inquiries for an authoritative analysis of the hot waters. This I have not been able to furnish, for the reason that, so far as I have been able to learn, none has ever been made by or under authority of the Government. Neither have I been able to find any of recent date coming from a reliable source. Those which I have been able to gather up, and which seem best authenticated and are accepted here as reliable, were made forty-odd years ago by Prof. E. H. Larkin, of St. Louis, Mo.; Prof. David Dale Owen, State geologist, and Dr. William Elderhorst, the waters analyzed being from different springs.
A quantitative analysis made by Prof. E. H. Larkin, of St. Louis, gives 8} grains of mineral constituents to the gallon. The temperature of the water analyzed was 1450. The following is the analysis made: Grains.
Grains. Silicic acid..... 24. 74 Water
1. 72 Sesquioxide of iron 1.12 Sulphuric acid
4. 40 Alumina 5. 15 | Potash.
1. 46 Lime. 28.93 Soda
2.01 Magnesia .73 Iodide and bromide
.07 Carbonic acid.
100.00 Organic inatter.