Organization of the Month: Eureka Springs Historical Museum
Our little town has a rich and very interesting history. We are fortunate to have a museum that not only captures that history, they bring it to life.
The Museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, document and exhibit objects of historical significance to Eureka Springs, and to present them in such a manner as to educate and inspire residents and visitors alike.
Gotahold Brewing and the Museum have something significant in common – we’re both housed in the former Elks Lodge!
(borrowed from the Museum’s website) The building housing the Eureka Springs Historical Museum is referred to as the Calif house. The magnificent three-story home was constructed in 1889 by Samuel L. Calif.
The home reflects the architectural style of the late Victorian era, and it is constructed of native limestone on all three floors. Mr. Calif used his home as a family residence, dry goods store, and a boarding house!
The family maintained and kept the family home until the 1940’s when the building was sold to the Elks Lodge.
The Elks Lodge owned the building for 15 years, and made several structural changes to the appearance of the building. They took down the front porches, installed a concrete wall over the main entrance, and changed some of the upper rooms.
The Ozark Folk Festival board members purchased the building in 1971. Over the next several years, they used profits from the Ozark Folk Festival to begin restoring the building, to create the museum.
The property was conveyed to the Eureka Springs Historical Museum by the Folk Festival Board on June 2, 1980. The museum was incorporated with the Secretary of the State of Arkansas as a 501c(3) non-profit at that time.
In October of 1971, the Eureka Springs Historical Museum officially opened its doors to the public. We have come a long way since then! The museum has both permanent and temporary exhibits on the first and second floors that provide a unique perspective on the city of Eureka Springs. The Eureka Springs Historical Museum’s collection contains over 10,000 artifacts that include photographs, travel memorabilia, art, musical instruments, and textiles that date from before the founding of Eureka Springs in 1879 to the present.
This is their 50th anniversary, since the museum first opened in Oct 1971. Because they had to cancel the Witches Escape and Voices of the Silent City fundraisers for 2021, proceeds from these Gotahold events will help to keep the museum doors open through the winter and spring.
Jeff Danos, the Executive Director, will be bringing “Echos From the Past” oral history recordings to our beer garden Thursdays in November (except Thanksgiving). We hope you’ll come participate and tip generously as 100% of the tips will be donating the museum.