Mayberry Springs Inn, 1895
Photo Courtesy of the Garland County Historical Society, The Record - 2001
There is a really neat place onwww.hsnp.com where you can learn or inquire about the history of the Spa City. Go to the main page of hsnp.com and click on the Message Board menu on the left. There is a forum named Old Stories of Hot Springs.
A topic called Mayberry Springs asks the question, "Does anyone have any historical info on an estate about 20 miles west of Hot springs and 5 miles east of Crystal Springs? I have heard all my life its haunted and has a violent history."
Legend states that Mayberry Springs is shrouded in mystery. Named after David Mayberry, the area still has the creek that bears his name and the deserted house that he built near the old Indian Trail.
David Mayberry, who inherited his fortune from his father, moved to Montgomery County from Tennessee around 1836. After the Civil War, the area became a mining boom at Silver City, Joplin and Bear, Arkansas. Freight wagons and coaches passed through Mayberry Springs in order to get on the road to Bear. That caused the boarding house to become a gold mine for David and his family.
Guests, prospectors and visitors brought in whiskey, poker and a few gunfights. Legend states that outlaws would wait for the Mayberry Inn guests to take their rooms, and the bandits would then make a raid on the place. They would rob and kill the rich after taking their money, and kill the poor for not having any money! One man’s bloodstain wouldn’t come clean from the floor, so it was eventually painted brown to cover the stain.
David Mayberry died in 1881, and the legends of the area ran rampant. Mayberry Springs has a reputation as a hotel for haunts. Had Mayberry murdered one of his wives and burned her body in the fireplace? (He had at least 3 wives during his lifetime) Does the ghost of a headless man "haunt" the lobby of the Inn? At midnight, can you hear a blood-curdling scream of a woman while all of the doors of the inn open and close? Louis Goodman, who once lived in the caretakers cabin, could hear someone shouting "Help" and heard fiddle music and laughter from the inn’s darkened rooms, which became silent when a lantern was lit.
Mayberry Springs, an early century … lifestyles of the rich and famous, with the legend of violence to boot.
This story is a direct response to the forum posted on HSNP’s Old Stories of Hot Springs message board. We welcome your questions and answers about Old Hot Springs.
Dr. Rando, PhD of Wit
(Special thanks to The Record – 2001 of the Garland County Historical Society for information for this story)
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