Walks Through History: El Dorado Downtown
El Dorado Historic Downtown is anchored by the Union County Courthouse, at the corner of Main and Washington Streets. Other notable structures include the Exchange Bank building, which was, at nine stories, the county's first skyscraper, and the eight-story Murphy Oil building. From a thriving oil boom town in the 1920s to a fading ghost town in the Great Depression, El Dorado endured the boom-to-bust story of many other communities during the early to mid-20th century. In 2002, El Dorado capitalized on its oil boom heritage by gathering 40 local artists to paint and sculpt 55 oil drums donated by local Murphy Oil Company. El Dorado's festivals and special gatherings have earned it a reputation as the entertainment capital of South Arkansas. "Showdown at Sunset," draws thousands downtown to celebrate El Dorado's raucous oil-boom history. An award-winning event, it is a historical reenactment of a 1902 duel between two brothers, who fought it out on the county courthouse steps. Other events include the Mayhew Festival; the Bugs, Bands, and Bikes Crawfish Boil; and the Holiday Trail of Lights have branded the downtown as the center of entertainment and the heart of the community.