Named for Emmett Harding, a photographer who began the tradition of making photographs of people in front of the Spring for souvenirs. He built a small dwelling near the spring in the summer of 1879. In 1879, the spring was accessed b a narrow wagon track along a rocky ledge, leaving little room for gathering. Hand labor was required to move a great deal of earth to create a level area in front of the spring. A wide boardwalk and a wood stairway to the top of the cliff were built at that time.
Harding Spring is known as the site of one of the most famous healings in Eureka Springs. Twenty year old Jennie Cowan had been blind for seven years following a severe illness. Jennie used the waters of Basin Spring Park for several months to no avail. She thn began using the waters of Harding Spring exclusively on August 22, 1880. Her sight was restored. Her exclamation, “I can see!”, created an enormous sensation among the many people visiting Eureka Springs seeking the benefits of the healing waters. Harding Spring is one of th original spring reservations established by Ordinance NO. 80 dated February 16, 1886.