In 1883, Dr. Curtis Brown left his practice on Herrin’s Prairie and built the first resort hotel in Creal Springs. After the railroad from Marion to Brookport was completed in 1889, hotel guest numbers soared, as most trains brought patrons to the Creal Springs resort hotels. The WCHS Musuem is in ownership of the guest register from 1889 to 1890. Among the registered guests was bare-knuckle boxing champ John L. Sullivan.
This page of the register reminds visitors to the museum of a time when handwriting was undertaken with more flourish; or perhaps the desk clerk had a hobby of ornate pen-and-ink lettering during slow times.