Traveling Back in Time

Garland County Historical Society releases new book


The third Arlington Hotel sits on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Fountain Street, and the Park Hotel rises at 210 Fountain St. Photography courtesy of the Garland County Historical Society.


The second Arlington Hotel (1892 – 1923) is on the right as one looks northeast up Fountain Street from Central Avenue. On the left is the early office of Mountain Valley Water Co. In the distance is Happy Hollow, an amusement park that was a major draw for locals and tourists alike from the 1880s until 1946.

Have you ever wished you had a time machine—one that would whisk you back to the “old days” in Hot Springs?

The Garland County Historical Society is proud to present its time machine: “Then & Now: Hot Springs, Arkansas” by Mike Blythe. This newly published book of photographs transports you to historic Hot Springs and also shows how our city has evolved.


In the early 1950s, Steak n Shake restaurant (1946-1961) anchors the north end of the 1881 Gaines Block building, Hot Springs’ first brick office building.

GCHS volunteer Mike found intriguing historic photos in our collections. Sometimes in the middle of streets, sometimes after climbing rusty ladders to the tops of buildings, he took photographs of the same locations to compare Hot Springs “then” with Hot Springs “now.” Iconic Hot Springs landmarks and scenes on Park, Whittington, Central, Ouachita, and Malvern avenues, as well as at other locations, are featured in this beautiful 172-page book.

The $25 book is available at the Garland County Historical Society archives, 328 Qua- paw, 8 a.m.–noon, Monday through Friday (321-2159) or on their website,


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