Eureka Springs Independent Newspaper Column for January 22, 2014

The sequence of events that precedes someone becoming a resident of Eureka Springs can take many forms. For Mamie Kincaid it started with an article in the Ford Times magazine that mentioned Eureka Springs.

Mamie and her late husband, Paul, had ordered a new white 1965 Mustang and knew the day it was coming off the assembly line. No one knows what led them to want a Mustang, which was a newly released model by Ford Motor Company. When Paul died in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1966, Mamie, who hadn’t driven a car since the 1920s, signed up for a two-week driving course to learn to drive her sports car. The 58-year-old widow first moved to Mesa, Arizona, where her sister Kay lived, but then read of Eureka Springs. She and Kay made a trip to visit in the spring of 1969.

The trip must have been a success, because after a phone conversation with her daughter, a house, barn and acreage were purchased on top of Busch hill near Hunt’s log cabin. Mamie with her 1965 Mustang and her sister Kay with her 1957 Chevrolet moved into the home and awaited the arrival of daughter Gail.

In July 1969, Gail arrived with her 1963 Chrysler 300 Pacesetter convertible, three sons, horse and cat. Gail was out on the mountain for two-weeks before she made the trek into town. “What a surprise Eureka was,” she told me. “Not that it was doing much.” A die hard Oregon native, Gail has always had mixed feelings about being in Arkansas. She said her horse disliked it here from the start, not liking the thick brush or the copperhead snakes.

Mamie Kincaid and her family didn’t stay out on the mountain, though, as they all moved into town at different times. Many will remember that white 1965 Mustang parked at 215 Spring Street for many years and it hasn’t left the family as her grandson Scott Schmitz now has it.

Sister Kay took an apartment in Col. King’s house and worked at the Hallmark Shop on Spring Street. What became of her 1957 Chevrolet is not certain.

Gail sold the 1963 Chrysler convertible, but 13 years later was able to buy it back and has now fully restored it. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll see her in it from time to time.

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