Former Eureka Springs resident Vance Randolph mentions in his book, Ozark Magic and Folklore, that in pioneer days most residents of the Ozarks observed Christmas Day on the sixth of January. After the Ozarks fell in line with the rest of America and began celebrating Christmas on the 25th of December, it was called “New Christmas.”
Others persisted in the belief that “Old Christmas” (or the sixth of January) was the true Christmas, but I think that argument has died out.
Reading the December 29, 1966 edition of the Eureka Springs Times-Echo newspaper, I learned that Eureka Springs had a white Christmas that year. After an eight-inch snow on Dec. 23, the town nearly ground to a halt.
Despite difficult weather conditions, the Eureka Springs Municipal Hospital stayed fully staffed, although one nurse had to walk five miles in the snow to make it to work.
June Moncravie’s column Busch News records that the Busch Store had been without bread for several days because the ABC bread truck had overturned on slick roads. And the Beaver News column by Mrs. Frank Weddington notes that Cobb Gaskins was injured after a fall on the ice.
Of course, there is the usual letter to the editor complaining about city government. Wayne Brashear provided beautiful photographic evidence of the snow.
To my eyes, the land bargain of the week in this issue of the newspaper is 851-acres of land for sale on Highway 62 just ten miles out of town for $25 per acre, or $21,275. Adjusted for inflation, $25 in 1966 is now worth about $180, which would still be a bargain price for that land. Why has the price of real estate gone up at such a rate greater than inflation? Supply and demand, I suppose. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I would tell you what was playing at the movie theater on Spring Street but there is no listing for it in this edition of the Times-Echo. You could have driven to the Main Theatre in Berryville and seen Chuck Connors in Ride Beyond Vengeance or James Garner in A Man Could Get Killed.