Recently, I had the chance to interview Steve Beacham of Spring Street Pottery for my upcoming book, “Welcome to Eureka Springs: The I-Sh*t-You-Not History of America’s Quirkiest Town.”
I mainly wanted to talk with Steve about his late partner, Gary Eagan, who will be featured in my book.
Gary opened Spring Street Pottery in 1970, one of Eureka’s first modern art galleries. Those galleries boosted the town’s reputation and set it on the path to becoming the art destination it is today.
Gary was also one of Eureka Springs’ first openly gay shopkeepers, helping the town double down on its longstanding reputation for tolerance and individuality. An avid traveler, Gary spread awareness of the town far and wide. Gary and people like him attracted the gay community to the city, both as a vacation destination and as a home. Their efforts are a major reason why Eureka Springs today is considered one of the most gay-friendly small towns in America.
Steve and I also talked about big figures in the history of the local art scene, such as Louis and Elsie Freund, who brought Eureka Springs to national attention in the 1940s, and the Eureka Springs School of Art, which recently received a $10 million operational grant.
I look forward to sharing these stories and more with you in my book!