Hidden Gem Venue: Blue Spring Heritage Center
Blue Spring Heritage Center, located in Eureka Springs, is rich with Native American history and beautiful blooms during every season. There is over a mile of winding trails through the venue, and the gardens include crops, plants, flowers and healing herbs of the Ozarks. The historic bluff shelter, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and the second largest natural spring in Arkansas can both be found on the property. This venue is a true sanctuary of natural beauty that's perfect for picturesque, romantic wedding ceremonies.
The property first began when it was purchased for just $1 an acre in 1857. Since then, the Blue Heritage Farm has been many things, such as a place for Girl Scouts and horseback riders. Today, the property belongs to John Cross. As a young boy, Cross grew up on the property with his grandfather, where they pushed cattle to the WPA sign that still hangs at the entrance.
“As a young native Eurekan, I grew up on the White River in the cattle business on my grandfather’s several White River Farms,” Cross said. “I not only pushed cattle back and forth across the river, but I was fishing, trapping, learned to swim in it and even got baptized in it.”
In the late 1940s, a new owner turned the property into a tourist attraction by creating a garden that tourists paid to see. But after that wasn’t able to sustain itself, the bank ended up with the property and the John F. Cross Family Limited Partnership bought it.
Before the property was turned into the venue it is today, an archeologist and his students from the University of Arkansas uncovered 10,000-year-old artifacts that belonged to cave people and native Americans. Because of these finds, the property became a national registered site in 2002.
The Vision & Accommodations
From intimate gazebos nestled in the gardens to the Spring Terrace that can accommodate 500 guests, the natural history and beauty of Blue Spring Heritage Center has been restored and beautifully maintained.
After the site was nationally registered, the property was renamed Blue Spring Heritage Center and now consists of 250 acres with the second largest spring in Arkansas on its property. The spring produces 38 million gallons of water every day. The water it produces is drinkable and the purest in the area, according to the National Conservancy.
The property is also home to three miles of shoreline on Table Rock Lake (White River), and an old trading post that was used by Native Americans and Civil War soldiers as a resting place.
About the Photos
Melanie Myhre Photography shot Tyler and Kristine's wedding at Blue Springs this past fall, with a reception after at the Crescent Hotel.
Photographer: Melanie Myhre Photography
Flowers: Carey’s Cassville Flowers
Wedding dress: David’s Bridal, Dallas
Tux: Mr. Tuxedo, El Dorado