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Which hotel served as a women's college for almost 30 years?

Between 1908 and 1934, the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa housed a remarkable women's college, conservatory, and preparatory school: Crescent College & Conservatory for Young Women. Located at 75 Prospect in Eureka Springs, students reveled in beauty, indoors and out. Crescent College was founded by A.S. Maddox and it soon became one of the most exclusive boarding academies in Arkansas, training the minds of countless women who passed through its doors.

Many prominent families sent their daughters to study at the College. With a strong educational background in a time when few women were highly educated, these graduates held the tools to shape history. Women graduating from the Crescent College became nurses (many serving the war effort during WWI), academics, composers, and more. Martha Gladys Gwin, went on to earn her M.D. and become a renowned psychoanalyst. Mary Ella Lundy, a dedicated athlete and musically-gifted student, went on to become the Head of Women's Education and Physical Education for Women at the University of Georgia for 35 years. Her influence was so great that a one million dollar scholarship was set up in her name. Another graduate, Frederika Luce, went on to become the Art Supervisor for all the schools in the Emporia school district in Emporia, Kansas.

What did a women’s college teach? Educating young women from 14-18, courses consisted of Some courses: Domestic Science Class, Expression and Dramatic Arts (theater), sciences, mathematics, literature, history of music, music theory, harmony class, Military Training, visual arts, American history, world history, and much more. The early 20th century still promoted the “domestic arts” as a priority for most women’s education but the Crescent College seemed to encourage the student’s aptitude. The music program was well-known across the country and young women from across the United States traveled to study at the Conservatory. There is documentation of different state-specific clubs such as the Texas Club and Missouri Club.

Interest based clubs were also popular when the students weren’t in lecture. Some offerings included: YWCA, glee club, the Indian Club (students who were of Native American decent), hiking club, Oklahoma Club, student council, yearbook, orchestra, athletic association, Hypatian Literary society, philomathean literary society and more. These women also were athletic! Sports offered at the College included basketball, tennis, equestrian, and cheer team, to name a few.

For almost 30 years, the Crescent College & Conservatory for Young Women educated hundreds of students. Due to tough economic times brought on by the Great Depression, the college closed completely in 1934. The hotel resumed operating, but only during the summer months.

Today, the hotel has a small photo wall with some of the remaining artifacts. Previously a unique collection of Crescent College was on display, showcasing the College’s story and the women who lived it. Much of the research in this article is from the Crescent College History Project—learn more about it here or pick up a book at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa gift shop.

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Question: Which hotel served as a women's college for almost 30 years?
a. Omni Grove Park Inn
b. The Plaza
c. 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa
d. Hotel Del Coronado

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