(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

This Victorian bathhouse was more like a mansion filled with odd torture devices

From Sunday, July 21 through Friday, July 26, Sweetums and I drove 2,150 miles from Huntsville, Alabama, to Fort Worth, Texas, and back again. I am posting the stops in order of the trip. Most sites will be included in my upcoming Guide to Southern Oddities.

Stop No. 18: Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark.

Touring a 1915 bathhouse may not sound fascinating but, let me tell you, I was fascinated. The workout room resembled the one on Titanic. The steam boxes and shower cages looked like torture devices. But the statues and tile and stained glass … oh my!

In my last post, I promised a virtual tour of the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum in Hot Springs, Ark., and here it is. It is now a National Parks welcome center and free museum.

Click here for photos of downtown Hot Springs, Ark., and more of Bathhouse Row.

Here’s what the National Parks website says, “In 1915, reviews proclaimed the Fordyce Bathhouse as the best in Hot Springs. Now you can tour the Fordyce and see the splendor. In May 1989, the Fordyce Bathhouse opened as the Park Visitor Center; the bathhouse had actually gone out of business in 1962. It took extensive restoration, but the result is a look at the bathhouse as it was in the early years of business, complete with beautiful stained glass ceilings, marble walls, and statues. You can tour the building, look at exhibits and watch movies on taking the baths and the park story.”

Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Our summer trip route

Definitely a great stop for families and couples in town for a romantic getaway. Check it out.

Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
A model of Bathhouse Row, which is preserved as part of the National Parks Service. Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
This gym looks like the one that was on the RMS Titanic. Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Steam boxes inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. Only guests’ heads stuck out. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Inside the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
The gorgeous Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
Detail of the exterior of the Fordyce Bathhouse Museum, Hot Springs, Ark. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)

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