The Chewaukla Bottling Factory

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City/Town: Hot Springs
Location Class: IndustrialCommercialFarm
Year Built: 1930's
Year Abandoned: N/A
Status: AbandonedEndangeredBurned Down
Photojournalist: Michael SchwarzGrant King

“Once long ago a chief who had been in poor health for many moons came to the sacred Valley of the Vapors hoping to find relief in the magic waters. Seemingly, however, the thermal waters did not have sufficient power to cure his affliction. After bathing in the pools, immersing himself in the hot mud, and enduring the sweat lodge, his condition did not improve. Instead, his illness worsened, and his pain grew so severe he could not sleep.

One night, as the chief lay delirious in his tent, his beautiful daughter, weeping for his pain, came to him and took him by the hand.  She led him out of the valley in search of cool waters she had been told had strong magic to cure him.  After passing through a deep gorge in the mountain, they followed a small stream until they reached a place where five cool, living springs burst forth from the rocky earth.  Here, the daughter filled a gourd and held it to her father’s lips.  When he had drunk the cool, refreshing water, he fell into a deep, restful sleep.  When the old man awoke, his pain was gone and he was cured of the affliction.

Out of gratitude to his lovely daughter, the chief gave her the name, Chewaukla, which meant “Sleepy Water,” and the springs were known thereafter as Chewaukla Springs.  The sleepy water soon became famous for the relaxing effect it had on all who drank there.”- Sandra Long and Marcus Phillips (Manataka American Indian Council)

The Chewaukla Bottling Factory
in the 1980s

This is the story behind the establishment of Sleepy Water Springs on Sleepy Valley Road in Hot Springs, Arkansas. This legend would most likely have occurred Pre-1800, and would be used by the Indians until 1818 when the Quapaws ceded the land around the springs to the United States in a treaty.  The Indians built four or five medicine cabins around these springs and treated the area as holy ground. One-hundred years later, the forgotten Sleepy Valley Springs were discovered and became a national sensation. People would travel hundreds of miles to visit the healing springs of not only Hot Springs, but of Sleepy Valley. The increase of tourism brought business to the valley. During the 1930’s, investors from Chicago constructed a complex of yellow brick buildings with a park for large groups of tourists to come drink from the springs.

The main building, where grand windows, marbles floors, and sliding doors create a unique combination of cultures. The front door sits below a large stone medallion of a beautiful maiden, that being Chewaukla, which is still visible to this day. Hidden behind the main building lies two yellow brick gazebos with a well in the center of each, both made of quartz and white tile.

Today, the factory is in absolute ruin. Sadly, it appears as if a  fire torched the interior sometime after the picture above was taken. It is very difficult to see during the summer, especially the gazebos behind it.  There are still bottles, appliances, doors, and benches spread about the area. There appears to be only three wells visible, and those are in excellent condition.

 

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Betty
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Betty

What really happened to this bottling factory? I think it should be brought back to operation this year.

Pat Goff
Guest
Pat Goff

So sad to see it abandoned. Wish it could be restored but it is to late for that now.

carol
Guest
carol

Great story from beginning to end! Thanks for sharing your experience and pictures!!!

USB To PC
Guest

Good one. Thanks for the share.

From Georgia
Guest
From Georgia

I found a business card from this place. I'd say it's pretty old…the phone number was 1208

Big Panda
Guest

Excellent! Another freakin' FANTASTIC post. Read of course by your number 1 FANtastic person 🙂

charismacondovaughan
Guest

We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.

Kourtney
Guest
Kourtney

What's the address?

Jerry
Guest
Jerry

I walked thru this in the 70s. I'm not from here but love Arkansas history. I live in Hot Springs, so the Majestic and the bottling plant are extra special. Great site..

Bryn Chambers
Guest

So, who owns this? Once an owner abandons it, is it a tax forfeiture and taken back by the state?

Cassi slab
Guest
Cassi slab

My land lord told me that the state now owns it.

Cassi Slab
Guest
Cassi Slab

I live RIGHT behind this, the gazebos is in my back yard.

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I have an old bottle with is on it I am curious how much is worth and how old it is

Kathy G
Guest
Kathy G

I have a bottle too? Does it have any value historical or otherwise?

essaymania.net
Guest

Learning about education the rite of everybody. With the assistance to education everyone can knows own rights. The education makes the human solid and they are not being misused effectively. Since the educated person know their rights and know how to guard them self.

Andrea Barnard
Guest
Andrea Barnard

Beautiful reclaimed building

Bryan Keigley
Guest
Bryan Keigley

I would love to go there and look around. Beautiful.

Dillon W Smith
Guest

i have been there i used to live near it

Jackie Casey Millsap
Guest
Jackie Casey Millsap

Neat story along with the pictures.

Barbara Niemerg
Guest
Barbara Niemerg

I knew that place so well- My husband manufactured whetstones in the old bottling facility in the 60's.

Debbie Kelly
Guest
Debbie Kelly

Where is that?

Therese Zeman
Guest
Therese Zeman

I'm gonna have to check this out. The pictures are awesome and I'm just don't the road from this area.

Ree Mernone
Guest
Ree Mernone

Wow… these pictures are awesome !

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