New trolley, new driver at Turpentine Creek

Jim Ball

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge has not only a new trolley for its trolley tours, but a new driver to drive it!

Jim Ball has joined the TCWR team as part-time trolley driver. Ball previously worked for 14 years for Eureka Springs Transit as vehicle maintenance manager and head mechanic, as well as driver.

“My father and grandfather were born in Eureka Springs, and my great-grandfather came here as a small boy right after the Civil War,” Ball says.

Ball said this new job wasn’t his first time at Turpentine Creek. “I used to come out here to fix stuff when I ran Bill’s Appliances in town,” he added.

Ball served in Vietnam as a helicopter crew chief, then worked as a tanker and in recon.

“It’s funny,” Ball said. “I was the one who originally went down to Little Rock to pick this trolley up when it was brand new, and now here I am driving it again.”

The trolley is a 2007 Chevrolet Goshen coach purchased from Eureka Springs Transit six weeks ago.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the refuge, and adding a second trolley allows us to serve the public better, and that in turn helps the cats,” says TCWR Vice-President Scott Smith.

Turpentine Creek offers both walking and riding guided tours starting each day at 10 a.m. each day. The walking tours run every hour on the hour, and the trolley tours run on the half hour.