Before the arrival of European explorers, various Native American tribes availed themselves of the mineral-rich, heated waters. In 1541, Hernando De Soto and his men first marched through the area and stayed for several weeks to enjoy the special waters. Jean Prudhomme, the first settler of the area, was also drawn to the thermal springs, as were others, including Ludovicus Belding, an entrepreneur who was renting rooms in 1832 to visitors who also were attracted to the "healing waters." To preserve the springs, Hot Springs was named a the nation's first National Reservation in 1832, and was later named a National Park in 1921.
During the early 1900s hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the area to experience the waters, which were credited with curative powers. Elaborate bathhouses were built to accommodate the great number of visitors who traveled to enjoy the springs and spa treatments. Historic Bathhouse Row, as it exists today, is a collection of eight architecturally significant bathhouses, most of which were built between 1912 and 1923.
Hot Springs dodged a direct hit from a Soviet ICBM but was immediately thrown into chaos. Hot Springs soon became torn between two factions; a pro-slavery government and an Anti-Slavery government. These two sides fought for power throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Finally in 1991 the Anti-slavery faction fled or surrendered after suffering a crippling defeat at the "Battle of Mt Monah."
After the destruction of the Abolitionists at Mt. Monah the racist government led by Lester Conners established the Hot Springs Confederacy, one of the many city-states claiming to be the successor to the Confederate States of America. The defeated abolitionists fled north seeking refuge somewhere reached Joplin Missouri after a long and harsh journey. Those who survived the trek told the officials in Joplin what had become of their homeland. After much debate Joplin decided that they should intervene.
The People's Revolution
Joplin decided it would send a volunteer force of a 150 men along with about 50 more to act as "advisors" to the abolitionists. The Abolitionists believed that the people of Hot Springs, especially those sympathetic to blacks currently in slavery, would rise up when their forces attacked. The military advisors from Joplin believed some may rise up but not in the numbers the abolitionists hoped. However on May 30, 1995, the abolitionists and Joplin forces attacked key Confederate outposts, throwing the confederate leadership into chaos. Soon what had seemed like an overly optimistic hope by the abolitionists came true. Many slaves turned on their masters while many free whites grabbed whatever weapons they could find and began to rise up against the Confederates. Confederate leader Lester Conners was killed by his own wife with a butcher knife. Unbeknownst to many, Conners' wife was in fact very much against slavery but had feared speaking out. After two weeks of bitter and ferocious fighting the last of the confederates fled Hot Springs. Thus paving the way for a new democratic government to be founded.
Battles With Warlords
With the help of Joplin, Hot Springs was able to establish relative order in the area. However the remnants of the Confederates had found refuge in Prescott, Arkansas. Soon the warlords in Prescott began to raid at Hot Springs, inflicting more suffering on an already battered people. Mike Ross, the leader of the local resistance to the Prescott warlords, and his small band of fighters went to Hot Springs offering their combat skills and knowledge of the area in return for safe refuge in Hot Springs. The leaders of Hot Springs welcomed Ross's men with open arms. However they were skeptical about liberating Prescott unless they were directly attacked. However, when the Prescott gangs began to raid the outskirts of Hot Springs, they were forced to act. With the help of a small volunteer force from Joplin, the Hot Springs Militia and Mike Ross's warriors launched a surprise attack on Prescott on July 21st 1997. While the Confederates were at first caught off guard, they soon formed a powerful and cohesive resistance to Hot Spring's invasion. Unlike Hot Springs, very few civilians aside from slaves rebelled against their leader. Heavy fighting continued for several days until the last Confederates surrendered. The battle of Prescott was the last major battle between Hot Springs and warlords to date but small gang raids still persist, albeit rarely.
In the late 2000s Hot Springs had only made contact with Joplin, however explorers from Broken Bow, Oklahoma stumbled upon Hot Springs while surveying the region. Joplin came into contact with another city-state in Cape Girardeau Missouri. Soon Joplin, Cape Girardeau, Hot Springs and Broken Bow began trading among themselves on a limited basis. Cape Girardeau was discovered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in late 2009 who then sent representatives to Hot Springs, Joplin and Broken Bow.
Hot Springs follows many elements of the old United States's constitution. They elect a Governor, Lieutenant Governor and 27 representatives to the House of Delegates. The government convenes in the old Hot Springs's town hall.
Hot Springs is nestled among and surrounded by mountains, waterways and forests. Four lakes – Lake Hamilton, Lake Catherine, Lake Ouacita and DeGray Lake – are in the immediate area. Lakes Hamilton and Catherine border the city with some 300 miles of shoreline. Lake Ouachita sits just 30 minutes from downtown Hot Springs and has 40,000 acres of crystal-clear water and nearly 700 miles of unspoiled shoreline, while DeGray Lake is less than 25 miles south of Hot Springs. All four lakes offer boating, fishing, and other water activities. The many parks adjacent to the lakes also present camping and hiking opportunities.