1937 Buick Special

Me and Olivia

Me and Olivia
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Me and "The Hell Bitch"

Me and "The Hell Bitch"
My 50th birthday gift to myself a 2004 Harley she is named after Captain Call's horse on Lonesome Dove.

I Want This Bike!

I Want This Bike!
Me On A 1942 Harley

My Favorite TV Show

The Location Of My Visitors!

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The State Of Arkansas, Louisiana's Good Neighbor!

The State Of Arkansas, Louisiana’s Good Neighbor!
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Sometimes even though Louisiana is a great state you want to look for something totally different for your summer vacation. I usually look just a little north at the “Natural State” of Arkansas. This year, with the price of gas being almost $5.00 a gallon in some places, I was struggling to find that perfect place to go where you get the most “BANG” for your buck. Eureka I found it!
If you love historic homes and historic places in general this “City That Water Built” is the perfect destination for you. The town was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1970. If you visit you will know why instantly. It is a fast step back into another era of time.
My first decision to make was finding the perfect place to stay. I found it in the “Pearl Tatman House”. This is not your typical bed & breakfast by any means. This “Painted Lady” has been featured in several books about Victorian homes across the United States. Since historic home preservation is so important to me, I always like to know the history of where I am staying. It gives you a since of belonging, if you know who has walked the floors before you.
Dr. Pearl Tatman, the first woman doctor in Arkansas, built her house in the late 1880s. ‘Doc Pearl’ lived in the charming three bedroom Victorian until her death in the 1940s. It has been said that she died in bed leaving on her feather pillow a crown of feathers ... a sign that she is now an angel watching over all who visit the house.
Here is more historical information from the "Ladies Exhibit" Board Text: No person in the history of Eureka Springs is so revered in remembrance as the woman usually called 'Doc Pearl'. Pearl Hale came to the health resort in the 1890's, a young, unmarried woman who had already received her medical training. She began the practice of medicine as physician and surgeon, setting up an office in the Duncan block on Spring Street, and soon became almost indispensable to the people of Eureka Springs who sought her help.
In a time when young women did not enter into professions and most were trained simply to be wives, mothers and homemakers, Pearl Hale shone as a courageous individual. In time she added home and marriage to her busy life through being married to Dr. Albert Tatman. Their lovely home 'Cozy Corners' was one of the most gracious centers of social life and both took part in the literary and drama society. They adopted an orphan baby girl whom they named Daisy.
Pearl Hale Tatman devoted her life to the people of Eureka Springs and served them well for more than half a century, continuing the practice of medicine long after Albert's death, until advanced age brought her career to an end. (Doc Pearl passed away in 1944 and left her home in town, now named in her honor, to Daisy). The most repeated word used in praising Doctor Pearl was "saintly", and there is little doubt that it was truly appropriate.
With all this in mind, taking a step back in time was easy to do. The beauty of the home and convenient location is a perfect setting for a relaxing stay. The home is built on Spring Street which is the heart of the historic loop in this historic town. You are within walking distance of the magnificent Crescent Hotel, a block or so from the railroad depot and not much further to the eclectic downtown area. You also are on the Trolley and carriage route just right outside your front door. This home is unique for the fact that it is not your typical bed and breakfast. You get the entire house to yourself! This is the perfect and affordable setup for girl’s trips, family gatherings, and vacationing or traveling with friends and other couples.
The owners live off-site so you are privileged to the run of the home. This includes a well stocked kitchen, a washer and dryer placed in what is called the ‘Out House’, formal dining room, living room, three romantic bedrooms, all charmingly furnished with antiques and accessories that create a feeling of comfort and warmth. A wonderful two person Jacuzzi room built into the side of the mountain, three bedrooms with an upstairs bathroom with a claw foot tub, a beautiful fieldstone patio with a small koi pond with fountain surrounded by comfortable Adirondack lawn chairs is all yours to enjoy during your stay.
Don't feel like making your own breakfast? At the Pearl Tatman House, you can choice the "Personal Chef" package and have your breakfast prepared for you! This was something that we just had to try. One morning we wanted that pampered feeling so we ordered in. The breakfast was amazing and you don’t even have to get out of bed to let “Chef Denise” in. You can lie in bed and smell the fresh coffee brewing and go down at your leisure. Talk about taking advantage of relaxing.
And now for that extra incentive for calling this home while in Eureka Springs! There are two porches or verandas that overlook East Mountain. As you sit in the rocking chairs in the morning, the sunrise over the mountain takes your breath away as you witness the spectacular view of the Christ of the Ozarks Statue with the sun rising over his out stretched arms. This site alone is worth the trip! You can check all this out on line at http://www.pearltatman.com/n.com/, the homes owners are wonderful folks to work with.
Speaking to the Christ of the Ozarks, you don’t want to miss “The Great Passion Play” now in its 40th year of production. If you saw the play years ago you need to go back. So much has been added. They now have a Holy Land Tour during the day as well as several museums and a large restaurant. You can spend all day just seeing everything they now have to offer. http://www.greatpassionplay.com/
One of our favorite things was our dinner train ride with the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway better known as the ES & NA. We arrived around 4:30 to check out all the vintage trains and train equipment. Then with anticipation we heard the sound of the train whistle and the conductor call “All… aboard…!” We boarded our vintage dinning car equipped with white linen table clothes and china. Then we were off for our trip. Now this train doesn’t go fast and it doesn’t go far but we loved it. We especially loved the best Prime Rib dinner that we had ever had in our lives. All this was topped off by flaming Baked Alaska for dessert in the shape of a train with flames coming out of the smoke stack! Don’t miss this experience if you are in this part of Arkansas. http://www.esnarailway.com/
We had lunch the next day at the historic Basin Park Hotel and then we sat a while in the heart of the town the “Basin Park”. This is a great place to sit and people watch and just relax and hear the different street performers and take in a little local art and culture.
We toured War Eagle Mill http://www.wareaglemill.com/ not far from Eureka one day and for a memorable evening, we visited the most famous- or infamous- haunted location in Eureka Springs the Crescent Hotel http://www.crescent-hotel.com/ . Constructed in 1886, the hotel has also been a girl's school and a cancer hospital run by an unscrupulous charlatan. Perhaps the most haunted building in Arkansas, the Crescent Hotel is said to be home to nurses pushing carts down the hall ways, young school girls on their way to class, Dr. Norman Baker on his way to conduct another autopsy, and the most famous ghost in the hotel, Michael the stone mason. This old Hotel is a must see and you will want to take the ghost tours at night. We missed the ghost tour but we didn’t miss the incredible meal in the Crystal Dining Room! This is also the place that you can book your carriage ride of the area. If you don’t take a carriage you can always take a nostalgic ride on one of the many trolley rides offered.
Now all of this was done from Saturday afternoon with check out Tuesday morning. We were only halfway finished with our vacation. We were now headed to the Music Capital of the Ozarks.
Established in the 1870s, the town of Mountain View, Arkansas is famous for the preservation of folkways and traditional music. It was only natural for the Arkansas Folk Festival to be founded here in the early 1960s, and the Ozark Folk Center State Park followed in 1973. The Center which has been coined as the nation’s only center that preserves Ozark heritage and presents it as living history. The Park's interests are in the areas of: The cultural and social history of the Ozarks region in pre-modern times. In the area of pioneer crafts this is generally interpreted as before 1921 and in the area of mountain music before 1941 http://www.ozarkfolkcenter.com/ .
Music plays a vital part of the aura of the area as, historically, Saturday nights would find locals at a “pickin’” in a neighbor’s house or yard. The custom continues today, musicians join locals and play music late into the night hours all around the small town square and the newly constructed three gazebo’s in the “pickin’ park”.
Music is not only vital, it is the soul of this town and there is a determination to keep the tradition alive through programs such as the Music Roots Program, where via the local school system, area musicians teach young people to play the old tunes on traditional string instruments. This was the part we enjoyed the most, seeing young children (so young that their feet didn’t touch the floor when they sat in a chair) not sitting behind a video game but sitting behind a banjo, mandolin, or dulcimer.
Our place of residence while in this part of the Ozark Mountains was the Wildflower B&B, which was built in 1918 and restored in the early 1980s as a B&B. The Wildflower was originally the Commercial Hotel and is still known by many of the locals as just that. Many area businesses started in what are now downstairs guestrooms that were at one time used as commercial rental for print shops, bakeries, beauty shops and lots more. The Wildflower owners J.R. and Pam are wonderful folks and the breakfast will definitely keep your belly full until lunch time! We loved sitting on the porch with a good cup of coffee in the morning and visiting with the different guest. Many are regulars of this B& B and after a day or two we understood why! http://www.wildflowerbb.com/ We will be back for sure too!
While staying at the B&B right on the square, visitors can enjoy hearing music drift through the streets as they sit on the porch and take in the night breeze of the evening. We were entertained on into the night by a piano player that just happened to stop by with his piano in the back of a truck. After unloading this to the porch earlier in the day we were pleased to just sit and enjoy the sites and sound later that night as the crowd gathered lawn chairs in tow.
The town, located deep in the Ozarks is surrounded by mountains and rivers, offering many outdoor activities that include caving at Blanchard Springs Caverns this is a must do when in the area. They even have Caroling in the Caves at Christmas time.
Well as always vacations are over too soon. Friday morning came around too fast and we were on our way back to Louisiana. Don’t forget if you ride a motorcycle or in car you want to take advantage of Arkansas being at you back door. It is one beautiful state rich in history and heritage and some great back roads. So until next time keep it between the ditches. Check out http://www.eventsinminden.blogspot.com/ for more about what I am up to in and around Minden, Louisiana.