Named for J. Emmett Harding, a photographer who began the tradition of making photographs of people in front of the Springfor souvenirs. He built a small dwelling near the spring in the summer of 1879.
In 1879, the spring was accessed by a narrow wagon track along a rocky ledge, leaving little room for gathering. Hand labor was required to move a great deal of earth to create a level area in front of the spring. A wide board walk and a wood stariway to the top of the cliff were buit at that time.
Hariding Spring is known as the site of one of the most famous healings in Eureka Springs. Twenty year old Jennie Cowan had been blind for seven years following a severe illness. Jennie used the waters of Basin Spring for several months to no avail. She then began using the waters of Harding exclusively on August 22, 1880. Her sight was restored. Her exclamation, “I can see!”, created an enormous sensation among the many people visiting Eureka Springs seeking the benefits of the healing waters.
Harding Spring is one of the original spring reservations established by Ordinance No. 80 dated February 16, 1886.