DELIGHTFUL MONTE NE.
After all, Nature has a great way of discounting man's devices
for pleasure and health.
What artificial amusement can match in zest the beguiling of
the wily bass from the clear, swift stream, or the exhilerating
rhythm of an early morning gallop over gravelly mountain trails?
And one good, deep breath of dry, delicious mountain air at sunrise
makes so-called physical culture seem flat, stale and unprofitable!
In the same sense that "he that is whole needs not a physician,"
the well man departs with more or less impunity from the primitive
laws of nature. But when he is weary, or ill, there is something
way down underneath the veneer of civilization that make, him
long once more for the simpler existence and the vitalizing influences
that can never be summarized in a doctor's bill.
Something of this sort must have passed through the mind of
the founder of Monte-Ne, as he first, stood upon the steep hillsides
that surround this little plateau up in the Ozark mountains of
North Arkansas. Familiar as he was with the noted resorts and
watering places of America and Europe, he yet perceived something
so distinctly charming in the evidences of nature's handiwork
at this spot that he believed others could not but be similarly
impressed. That his judgment in this matter was unerring has been
steadily demonstrated from the first day that visitors began coming
to the resort. Nature has provided here with wondrous bounty for
the weary and ill.
Think of stepping from a train into a gondola. Who ever heard
of such a thing in this lakeless inland region of the southwest!
It's enough to make one rub one's eyes and wonder if the glistening
water and picturesque craft are real. Think of all the resorts
you've ever seen or heard of. Picture the hot, dusty ride from
the railway station to the hotel. (That will not be difficult).
Then compare the way they do at Monte-Nea few steps across
the platform, a comfortable seat in a gondola or launch and a
dustless, joltless ride over a half-mild stretch of cool, transparent
water, alighting close to the veranda of a modern, well-equipped
Does it sound like a fairy tale?
Well, you shall judge for yourself when you visit this unique
And it is not hard to reach. If you will take a railroad map,
place one end of a piece of string in the center of Benton county,
Arkansas, and then describe an arc of 300 miles according to the
map scale, you will make the interesting discovery that Monte-Ne
can be reached readily within twenty-four hours from any town
or city on any railroad within that distance. Do you comprehend
all that that means ? Here is a vast section of country 1,000
miles in diameter, much of which is unbearably hot during the
summer months. This tract includes the major portions of Missouri,
Kansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Indian
Territory and Southern Arkansas. Over these states and territories
the hot winds range during the summer months. In St. Louis and
Memphis and Kansas City, every summer brings sweltering days and
sleepless nights. But right in the center of this vast southwestern
country rise the blue stretches of the Ozark mountains of North
Arkansas. And way up in the midst of these lies the picturesque
plateau which holds Monte-Ne. There are no torrid nights here.
Indeed, it never becomes so hot but that it's wise to keep plenty
of bed clothing handy. Some of it is always required before morning,
even during the times when the mercury is striving to break through
the top of the tube in nearly every metropolis of the United States.
The days, too, are comfortable. The sun gets very warm just as
it does elsewhere, but the air is wonderfully clear and dry, and
an invariable breeze springs up to temper the atmosphere to the
point of comfort. During the season of 1901, a record-breaker
everywhere for heat, the highest temperature recorded at Hotel
Monte-Ne was 95 degrees. And in the club room, which is in the
basement of the hotel, the thermometer never rose above 78 degrees.
If nature designed this oasis in the center of such a vast
heat-laden territory, man has made it wonderfully accessible.
Monte-Ne is on a main artery of the Frisco System. One may leave
St. Louis, or Kansas City, or Memphis, or Paris, Texas, in the
evening, and reach Monte-Ne in good season the following morning.
Fast trains, luxuriously equipped with the very latest appointments
are in constant daily service from these points all the year 'round.
The far-reaching net-work of the Frisco System lines and their
connections furnish fast, comfortable service to Monte-Ne, such
as few resorts enjoy. Not only is this true, but a special low
rate is in effect to Monte-Ne from all points in the United States
throughout the year.
The name Monte-Ne (pronounced Montee Nay) fits the tongue attractively,
somehow. It has an original look in type. It sounds differently,
too, from all the various familiar resort titles, with all their
confusing similarity, or unpronounceable construction. The name
Monte-Ne is a combination of French and Indian, Monte meaning
mountain, and Ne, water. Like all distinctive things, this name
was only evolved after much thought and research. Had it not been
so, some resort would have selected it long ago, without regard
for its appropriateness. Its selection for this resort is obviously
a happy one. The springs or Monte-Ne are entitled to first consideration
among all the many qualities that go to make up the attractiveness
of the place. It is hard to believe on first thought that the
splendid lagoon of transparent water which meets the gaze as the
train reaches the destination is produced by springs, none of
which are farther than a foot or two from the banks. Indeed, the
rock bed of this winding lake is literally perforated with springs.
The wonderful clearness and freshness of this water excites instant
comment. Some idea of the volume of these springs may be gained
when it is stated that the overflow through the gates provided
to keep the lake within bounds reaches the remarkable figure of
more than 5,000 gallons per minute. There are times in the year
when this overflow is much greater. But even at this minimum figure
estimate for yourself the volume of this overflow for a week,
or a month, or a year. It is almost incredible!
So much is published annually regarding the medical properties
of this spring and that spring that one finally comes to the inevitable
conclusion that a large percentage of these statements are made
for advertising purposes solely. The physical values of the waters
at Monte-Ne admit of so rational and sensible explanation that
it is possible to fix their status in a sentence or two. Analytical
test proves that Nature has done a very rare thing here, for the
waters are almost chemically pure. Experiment and experience have
shown that pure water will do more toward relieving the system
of its various ailments than all of the many waters so heavily
impregnated with mineral matter. In other words, the drinking
of pure water regularly for a reasonable period of time will cleanse
the system, washing away the impurities of the blood and tissues.
Monte-Ney water possesses a remarkable "lively quality, an
endowment of vitality the secret of which is closely guarded in
the subterranean depths of Nature's laboratory. For this reason
it never tastes "flat," although it has no distinct
flavor, mineral or otherwise. These springs have the same temperatureabout
50 degreeswinter and summer, so that the water is delicious
to drink, and slakes the thirst perfectly. The place was locally
renowned long before the Civil war, and was the objective point
for many visitors suffering from rheumatism and organic troubles.
It is said by people who live here all the year 'round that these
waters have performed many involuntary but effectual cures, resulting
from daily use. The larger springs are all appropriately named.
One of them, Lithia spring, is, as the title indicates, a natural
spring of pure lithia water. Some of the spots where these springs
rise are decidedly picturesque. At one point, a considerable stream
is formed by the union of seven small springs, known as the Seven
The foliage at
Monte-Ne is magnificent. Early spring is gorgeous with blossoms
of apple, cherry, peach and plum. Splendid oaks, pines, maples
and elms cluster along; the valley, and crown the rugged cliff
that rises nearly two hundred feet above the quiet waters of the
lagoon. There is an abundance of shade for the sunniest days,
with the pleasant rustle of the breeze-fanned leaves crooning
an accompaniment. Over the cliffs and hills there are excellent
trails, and they spread some wonderful views before the vision.
There is so much to see at Monte-Ne. Following the narrow valley
eastwardly for a little less than a mile one reaches White river.
From the crest of its steep palisades, towering more than 200
feet above the swift stream, one is presented a beautiful panorama
of mile of hazy valley and timber-bordered hills. From the opposite
side of White river the palisades themselves compose a striking
There's a romance of old Spain which throws its glamour over
the massive cliff and glinting water. It has all the flavor of
mysterious legend of long ago. The tale is as realistic as the
narratives of Capt. Kidd's wealth of hidden treasure, awaiting
some lucky searcher. It seems that some three years ago a mysterious
Spaniard came to that portion of the White river valley lying
in Benton county. He bore with him a tattered parchment, yellow
with age. This parchment was, he said, the key to a magnificent
treasure of gold and jewels buried by Spaniards who overran the
country after the Mexican invasion of Cortez, three centuries
ago. The record stated that a terrific battle was fought between
the Spaniards and Indians. The former lost heavily. The survivors
placed their treasure in a secret cave at the base of a tall cliff.
The parchment declared the gold to be worth $5,000,000, and the
jewels of unknown value. The description of the location seemed
to fit the palisades of White river in Benton county. It was further
stated that the cave had been sealed up, and that over the entrance
were buried members of the party who had been killed in battle.
The presence of the Spaniard and his parchment caused a furor
of excitement. People flocked in for miles from every direction.
Tools and workers were promptly volunteered. Excavation was begun
at once at the spot indicated. Presently, eight skeletons were
unearthed. The natives went wild with excitement. Here was certain
evidence of the existence of the treasure. Their cupidity became
so great that they drove away the Spaniard, threatening his life
so that he fled in mortal terror. But further digging failed to
reveal the treasure, or the entrance to the cave. The search was
continued at other points without success. The necessity for daily
bread cooled the excitement in a large degree. But still the search
continues, in a desultory way. Many people in the locality believe
implicitly that the wealth is there. Who the Spaniard was, or
whence he came, no one knows. He declared when he went away that
he would return. He has not yet reappeared. Meanwhile, you may
see the various excavations at the base of the palisades, and
if you are desirous of finding the hidden fortune yourself, you
are privileged to search to your heart's content. Incidentally,
if you are interested in physiology, you may examine various portions
of the skeletons, which are now pretty generally distributed among
the farmers over the county. They, at least, were genuine. Whether
they were Spanish or not is purely a matter of conjecture.
There are other things beside hidden treasure here to sharpen
one's appetite for exploration. This section abounds in caves.
There are at least twenty-five excellent ones within a radius
of ten miles. Some of these are of remarkable size and not a few
of them have never been thoroughly explored. The entrance to one
of them is a stream, and it is possible to row back in for miles.
Others contain stalactites and stalagmites of great beauty. One
in particular exhibits curious natural phenomena. This is Wind
cave, so designated because a steady breeze issues constantly
from its entrance. This air current is so strong that it sways
the grasses in summer. And the temperature remains invariably
53 degrees winter and summer. Thus one may be deliciously cooled
on a warm day, or comfortably warmed on a very cold one. This
cave extends back into the hill for miles, and no one has ever
followed its windings to the end. Wind cave is only a few hundred
yards from Hotel Monte-Ne, at the east end of the valley.
There are many
points of historical interest to visit near Monte-Ne. One of these
is Cross Hollows, a mile and a half to the west, where two ravines
intersect the valley. After the famous Civil war battle of Pea
Ridge, the Confederates retreated to this spot. Here a desperate
battle was fought, the conflict being almost hand-to-hand, and
the mortality fearful in view of the number of combatant engaged.
Pea Ridge itself is but a few miles from Monte-Ne, and the drive
is a favorite one.
Visitors to Monte-Ne during the early part of the season are
delighted with the strawberries and fresh vegetables. The resort
is in the heart of one of the finest fruit sections in the world.
It is said that Benton county has sold its apple crop of a
single season for over $2,000,000. Think of such an output from
a single county! The soil is wonderfully adapted for fruit raising.
Peaches, plums, pears and small fruit of every kind are raised
with signal success. Late summer offers a perfect feast of fruit
for the visitor to Monte Ne.
Half a mile from the resort is the Vinola winery, a fruit farm
property belonging to Mr. Starck, a former resident of Washington,
D. C. The residence and buildings are located upon a fine knoll,
splendidly shaded and commanding an exceptional view of White
river valley. Mr. Starck is a close student of nature. He is also
an able scientist, and has applied his knowledge to the cultivation
and perfecting of many varieties of fruit. Chief, in point of
successful development, is his vineyard. From this source he is
enabled to produce annually a considerable quantity of native
wines. Mr. Starck is authority for the statement that grapes grown
in North Arkansas are by actual test the finest wine grapes in
the world. He bases this statement on the fact that they exceed
the highest test of the saccharometer, the universal instrument
for determining the relative qualities of grape sugar.
The accommodations at Monte-Ne are excellent. Hotel Monte-Ne
is new, and correspondingly modern. Its table is appetizing; its
rooms are ample, well-appointed, and perfectly ventilated. All
are outside rooms. For families or parties who so desire there
are cottages and tents for rent. Table board may be secured at
the hotel if desired. Rates throughout are very reasonable.
And what is there to do at Monte-Ne?
Well, to start with, there are charming walks and drives and
rides. A good livery service is maintained, with comfortable carriages,
and sure-footed, easy-gaited saddle horses. Then there are bowling
alleys, and billiard and pool rooms, and kindred amusements. There
is a fine swimming pool, 25 x 50 feet, with careful appointments.
There is an auditorium with a seating capacity of 500. Here during
the season may be heard some of the famous speakers, entertainers
and concert people of the day. There is a large dancing pavilion
where regular parties are given. White river, less than a mile
away, affords the best of fishing. It is indeed a poor day when
the angler cannot find all the sport he desires here.
At night, Monte-Ne is a veritable fairyland, with the reflection
of myriad lights in the lagoon, the echo of laughter and song
as the gondoliers wend their way over the winding waters. The
evenings here are made to spend out of doors. And listen to this:
There are no mosquitoes at Monte-Ne. Can you fancy an inland resort
with a body of water without these spiteful pests? Wed, it's true
here! Isn't that worth remembering?
Monte-Ne has the accommodations and the amusements of other
resorts. And beyond all these things, it has a wealth of natural
charm distinctly its own. Its wonderful climate and magnificent
water are destined to re-invigorate thousands of weary people
for the return to labors that are inevitably to be resumed when
vacation days are over.
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