Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Visit to Crittenden Springs Hotel

One of the most splendid places Crittenden County had in it's past was the famous health and pleasure resort
known as the Crittenden Springs Hotel. What a sight it must have presented in it's day. It was built in 1887 by the Crittenden Sulphur Springs Company, Inc., boasted 125 rooms, including a ball room, gambling room, dining room, barber shop and a wonderful lobby. Located on a high hill overlooking the beautiful country side about 6 miles from Marion.

For 25 years the hotel flourished as a Mineral Spring Health Resort, during an era when people felt drinking and bathing in various types of spring water was beneficial to one's health.

The rancid odor of the water from the hotel's sulphur spring could be smelled a great distance from the hotel itself. The spring bubbled up from under a pavilion which was called "The Gum." In addition to the sulphur water spring was a clear water spring, which provided water for those guests who found the pungent sulphur water unpalatable.

During the summer months many residents of the area would spend from a weekend to a month or two at the hotel or one of its cottages. Tourists from Louisville, Evansville and other large cities would come to Marion by train where they were picked up by a "hack" drown by horses and transported the remaining 5 miles to the hotel.

Fluorspar mining was becoming a fast expanding industry around the turn of the century and mining men from Louisville filled the guest rooms.

Many entertainments were provided for the guests, including a Bird and 'Possum Supper. This festival meal took place in the month of November 1893.
It was a splendid affair. The 'Possum and Tatters' was delicious beyond description; the quail-on-toast was simply superb, and the sulphur water was sweetened and otherwise prepared to gratify the taste of everybody.

The great dinning room was festooned with the gay colors of the autumn leaves, wreathed with the wild vines, blushing with the first kisses of frost, and smiled with the beauty of the wild woods. No homage ever paid to salaried cook of king or potentate would do justice to the culinary arrangement of this occasion.

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