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By 1873 six bathhouses and 24 hotels and boardinghouses stood near the springs.In 1874, Joseph Reynolds announced his decision to construct a narrow-gauge railroad from Malvern to Hot Springs; completion in 1875 resulted in the growth of visitation to the springs. Fordyce and two other entrepreneurs financed the construction of the first luxury hotel in the area, the first Arlington Hotel, which opened in 1875.Many Major League clubs brought their teams to Hot Springs to get the players in shape for the coming season.The Cleveland Spiders, Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were among the teams that made Hot Springs their home base.The townsite consisted of 196 blocks and 50 miles (80 km) of streets and alleys.The remaining portion of the original four sections of government land consisted of hills and mountains which were mostly unoccupied, and Congress acted on the commission's recommendation in June 1880 by adding those lands to the permanent reservation. During the early 20th century (1894–1925), Hot Springs was known for baseball training camps after the construction of Whittington Park in 1894.After the Confederate forces suffered defeat in the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, the Union troops advanced toward the Confederate city of Little Rock. Rector moved his staff and state records to Hot Springs.Union forces did not attack Little Rock, and the government returned to the capital city on July 14, 1862.
They pillaged and burned the near-deserted town, leaving only a few buildings standing at the end of the Civil War.
Hot Springs is the eleventh-largest city in the state of Arkansas and the county seat of Garland County.
The city is located in the Ouachita Mountains among the U. Interior Highlands, and is set among several natural hot springs for which the city is named.
Today, much of Hot Springs's history is preserved by various government entities.
Hot Springs National Park is maintained by the National Park Service, including Bathhouse Row, which preserves the eight historic bathhouse buildings and gardens along Central Avenue.The hot spring water has been popularly believed for centuries to possess medicinal properties, and was a subject of legend among several Native American tribes.