Hot Spring County was formed on November 2, 1829, by the Territorial Legislature from a part of Clark County. The county's name came from the natural hot springs that later became world famous as a part of Garland County. The county seat is Malvern. The landscape is forested ridges, and river bottomland, with the Ouachita Mountains in the north and west and rolling hills in the southeast. Hot Spring County's economy base is beef and dairy cattle, and cultivation of hay, soybeans and rice. Industrial development includes lumber mills, brick plants, metals, and small industry. Many residents currently commute out of the county for work. The county has many varieties (65) of valuable minerals including the nation's greatest concentrations of novaculite and vanadium and magnet ore, which is in the roadbed of U.S. Highway 270. Malvern calls itself the "Brick Capital of the World." In July of each year Brickfest is celebrated with arts, crafts, games, and entertainment. The county courthouse, constructed in 1936 by the WPA, is built of local brick. Lake Catherine, set in a forest of tall pines and hardwoods, offers a getaway for fishing and other water sports, and the State Park offers campsites, cabins, hiking trails, and a marina. The Ouachita River, which runs through the county, is well known for it's fishing and floating. Many campers enjoy the area and return year after year.