We don't have crime in Eureka Springs. When I read about what goes on in Chicago, Boston, and other big cities I wonder what it must be like living with all that fear. We like our police. We know their first names. The police department and the fire department have Facebook pages that tell us what is going on. Oh sure, we have some drug possession, and residents and tourists alike are fond of alcohol. We have two breweries and a vineyard, but things are pretty peaceful. Maybe it is because we are so old.
The picture is a shot of our downtown. The large building far left, the Basin Park Hotel, was built in 1907, a "new" addition. Basin Spring, which started the town, is in the trees next to the building. The entire area was rebuilt after a fire in 1886 destroyed the entire downtown, and all the gingerbread cottages further up the hill. What you see here was rebuilt with limestone. Living surrounded by all this history lends a sense of security and peace. Our visitors declare they feel the healing energy of the town the minute they enter. You can be safe here, and accepted for who you are, as long as you don't intend harm. We welcome everybody and by law are discrimination free. Everybody is accepted here. Otherwise, let me remind you that Arkansas is an open carry state, so behave.
We don't worry about car jacking, murders, or police brutality. You can walk the streets at midnight in complete safety. We don't worry about burglars.
Once, in 1922, some crazies from Oklahoma tried to rob our bank. I tell the story in my book, The Hidden History of Eureka Springs. The word got out--we had a phone or two by then. The entire town responded with outrage, and stormed the bank, guns blazing. The robbers were killed. Hundreds of shots were fired. The coroner remarked later that most of the bullet wounds were post mortem. Everybody wanted to be able to brag they shot a bank robber, dead or alive. We celebrate the event every year during Folk Festival with a re-inaction.
Even though we don't have much crime, a big favorite of the tourists is the local police report, carried by both weekly newspapers. You'll read more about it in my new book, coming out in October. It's titled, Love in a Small Town, and is a romance set in Eureka Springs. I have bits and pieces of Eureka in all my books, but this one tells what it is like to live here, from the point of view of a teenage girl and her stepfather, newly arrived from Chicago and undergoing cultural shock.
The report might read:
3:09 a.m. - An alarmed citizen discovered an individual sleeping on her porch.
Official arrested the visitor for public intoxication.
4:30 a.m. - Resident reported large bird making noise in a tree outside her
window. When the officer arrived, the rooster was gone.
10:00 a.m. - A domestic dispute at a local motel. Officer arrived to help
settle the issue.
You can buy a copy of The Hidden History of Eureka Springs from the museum by visiting http://www.eurekaspringshistoricalmuseum.org or visit my website for more pictures at: