Friends of the Fordyce Inc is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 by Hot Springs citizens to help in the restoration of the Fordyce Bathhouse to be used as the Hot Springs National Park Visitors Center. The Friends have expanded their support for Hot Springs National Park by fundraising in support of other park needs to serve its millions of visitors. Funding in support of the park is raised through memberships to the Friends, corporate sponsors and private donations.
Hot Springs National Park has a rich history. When the area became a territory of the United States after the Louisiana Purchase, the springs got immediate attention from Washington and President Jefferson sent explorers to investigate the hot springs properties. To protect this unique national resource and preserve it for the use of the public, the Arkansas Territorial Legislature requested in 1820 that the springs and adjoining mountains be protected. On April 20, 1832, President Andrew Jackson signed legislation to set aside "...four sections of land including said (hot) springs, reserved for the future disposal of the United States (which) shall not be entered, located, or appropriated, for any other purpose whatsoever." Ever since then, people have been visiting the springs to take the waters, take the baths, hike the mountains and enjoy nature.
To learn more about Hot Springs National Park, go to their website at: