Most tourists know about the Eureka Springs Historical Museum, but many walk past another slice of nostalgia without even noticing.

The Bank of Eureka Springs Museum takes up most of the downtown branch of CS Bank, which is the bank’s modern name. It was founded in 1912, and the free museum includes a teller station and a bank office just as they would have been in its early decades.

That’s not its true heart, however. Nor is its eclectic collection of vintage artifacts from horse saddles to souvenirs to Ozarka Water bottles. The heart of this museum is Claude Albert Fuller memorabilia.

Claude is one of the people profiled in my upcoming book, Welcome to Eureka Springs: The I-Sh*t-You-Not History of America’s Quirkiest Town.

The museum holds the legacy of his many decades as the bank’s owner and president – and as one of the most powerful Congressmen of his era. During the Great Depression, his legislative quarterbacking helped reshape the country. I mean that both figuratively, with New Deal programs such as Social Security, and literally, with dammed lakes such as Table Rock and Beaver Lakes near Eureka Springs.

His career was not without controversy, something I’ll delve into more deeply in the book.

At the museum, you can see photographs of Claude with Franklin Roosevelt and other movers and shakers, newspaper clippings singing his praises, and Claude’s own office.

One unassuming gem in the museum’s collection is a bank safe labeled “F. O. BUTT.” That belonged to the town’s other controversial banker-slash-politician, who will also get a star turn in my book, as will the 1922 gunfight in front of his Citizens Bank (including his embarrassing role in it, usually left out of retellings).

This town holds a lot of stories. You just gotta know where to look.

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