During the Reconstruction Era, several conflicting land claims reached the U. Congress and resulted in an April 24, 1876, Supreme Court ruling that the land title of Hot Springs belonged to the federal government. To deal with the situation, Congress formed the Hot Springs Commission to lay out streets in the town of Hot Springs, deal with land claims, define property lines, condemn buildings illegally on the permanent reservation (now the national park) and define a process for claimants to purchase land.
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.
In 1807, a man named Prudhomme became the first settler of modern Hot Springs, and he was soon joined by John Perciful and Isaac Cates.
On August 24, 1818, the Quapaw Indians ceded the land around the hot springs to the United States in a treaty.
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.
Following federal protection in 1832, the city developed into a successful spa town.
Also a destination for the arts, Hot Springs features the Hot Springs Music Festival, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, and the Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival annually.