History of Underground Eureka

According to local history, two major streets in downtown Eureka Springs underwent considerable re-engineering in the year 1890. Main Street was the first official "street" in town, built in a low level gulch, alongside a small spring-fed creek. It suffered from frequent runoff problems and quickly earned the nickname "Mud" Street, hence the need for improvements. The second street in town requiring attention was Spring Street, as it was also becoming a main thoroughfare for carriage traffic. Today, it serves as the primary route for much of Eureka's Historic Loop.

These significant road improvements reportedly raised the overall level of the two streets and required that a number of businesses along Spring Street and Main Street create new entrances on the second floor, thereby making basements out of the once street-level facades. These original entrance levels were walled off and now lie hidden within a string of disconnected subterranean limestone tunnels. Over the years these mysterious and somewhat dangerous passageways have become known as "Underground Eureka".

Enjoy your visit and watch your head!
Mud Street
Early "Mud" Street, Eureka Springs
photo from City Historic Marker