This spring derived its name from early townspeople who declared the water to have a pleasant, sweet taste. The spring was originally located in the deep ravine below the present site. A long wooden stairway led from the spring to the narrow wagon road then known as Rice Street, which is now called Spring Street. Sweet Spring was also referred to as Spout Spring.
Around 1885, workmen dug into the mountainside above the street to locate the steam of water in a more accessible location. A stone lined circular enclosure around the spring and finely pointed limestone walls were constructed against the hillside. The Waldrip Brothers, William, James and John, were the skilled stonemasons who performed this work.
When Spring Street was widened, a small public area adjacent to the spring was set aside. Wide boardwalks and wood benches were built. A long wooden stairway led to a pathway and a street above the spring.
In 1916, the Waldrip Brothers built a stone stairway inset with benches to replace the old wood steps. The Eureka Springs Women’s Club funded these improvements, along with many other community beautification projects. A.O. Clark, who later designed the auditorium in 1928, was the architect for this project.
Sweet Spring and the wooded area above and below it were established by Ordinance No. 77 dated February 15, 1886 as a Spring Reservation, preserved for public use in perpetuity.