Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Trip to the Fordyce Bath house - old time luxury!

 The National Park Service has restored one of the original bath houses called the Fordyce House in the middle of Bath House Row in Hot Springs. Set in the period of the mid 1930's, this bath house, now visitor center, is a real trip back into time.

 There are several sections to the bath house reserved for both men and women. First stop is the changing room, seen here. Most visitors would come for several hours during the day and spend the nights in the local hotels. The changing room offered lockers for your personal items while you enjoyed the bath and spa.

The next stop was the deep bath tub featuring Hot Springs natural mineral water which was piped from the spring in the basement throughout the building. The water could be up to 140 degrees, which should be hot enough!

An option for women was the special shower cage which Orinda is thinking about. Water was sprayed in all directions and looked like it would work pretty well!

 Rick found the special shower set up for the men and was very impressed with the valving and plumbing that is set up for this.

For an extra special treat, you could try the hydro-therapy hoses which play high pressure hot water on you in sort of a massage. These looked like small fire hoses and must have really pumped out the water.

After a very busy bath time, which might last a couple hours, it is time to come to the cool-down room seen here. Here, you would rest for about 20 minutes on these lounges as your body slowly cooled down from the hot water bath. 

 After cool down, it is time to change back into our street clothes and experience the social aspect of the bath house. The top floor was dedicated to a beautiful sitting area complete with pool table, card tables, piano and much more. We could just imaging the relaxed discussions going on after a day at the baths. 

The ceiling of the sitting room featured these stained glass windows that area amazing. It was a wonderful example of a gracious period.

Finally, the women might opt for one more stop at the nail and make-up salon. Orinda thought this was a great feature and would be the end of a great day. Anyway, she can dream about the baths while she uses the great  shower in our motorhome in the morning!

No comments: