Exploring Alabama’s Stagecoach Stop at Blount Springs

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by DeBandi, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. veriest1

    veriest1 Grand NOOBlet

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    I love it and can't wait for more!
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  2. BUBB

    BUBB lynch not Zimmerman

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    fascinating - well done
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  3. DUALATP

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  4. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    love this thread
    amazing information and photography
    thank you for sharing this with us
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  5. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    The hotels:




    Just across the old stage coach route stood two large hotels.



    The remaining footings of the upper Mtn. House hotel still stand today.


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    This was a large two story hotel. This was the second hotel built at Blount Springs. Mtn. House was built in 1883 because the original hotel was not large enough to handle all of the guests coming to Blount Springs.




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    The Mtn. House hotel can be seen in the drawing. It's the hotel sitting back behind the main hotel.




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    The original Jackson Hotel is located just down the hill. It was constructed in 1871. It was rebuilt in 1878 and was considered to be one of the finest hotels in the south.




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    Let’s go down the hill and look around.




    :*sip*
    #25
  6. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    The first lower hotel was built in 1871.

    Other events were happening in 1871 that would prove to benefit Blount Springs in a huge way.


    While the first hotel was being constructed, John T Milner was appointed Chief of Construction over the North and South Railroad. Colonel J.F.B. Jackson was the construction engineer. He was a landowner with property at Blount Springs. L&N (Louisville and Nashville) took over the North and South railroad the same year.


    The L&N was notorious for shady land deals. It earned the name the Long and Nasty.



    The railroad project was completed in 1872, and the final spike was actually driven -- yep, you guessed it :nod -- right here in Blount Springs, adjacent to Colonel J.F.B. Jackson's property. -Imagine that-


    In the late 1800s and early 1900s if you had the railroad, you had the world at your fingertips.



    In 1878 Colonel J.F.B. Jackson built an all new incredible hotel and spa here replacing the original smaller hotel.

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    It was called the New Jackson House and was designed after the spas in Europe. The new hotel was strategically placed right along the new railroad.

    With dancing all night in the grand ballroom, elegant china, imported wallpaper, the socially elite frequented the hotel. Opulence was the description given by many reporters of the era.

    Improvements to the grounds and hotel continued. The grounds were terraced in the late 1880’s.

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    The walls still stand strong today.


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    The employees lived in small cabins scattered throughout Blount Springs.


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    I can still smell the food coming from the kitchen.


    More later.




    #26
  7. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

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    Nice work........thanks once again!
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  8. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    The hotel and spa flourished for several years. Colonel J.F.B. Jackson sold his hotel to a couple of wealthy industrialists from Birmingham.




    The Sloss brothers purchased the hotel in 1887.











    They operated Sloss Furnace.


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    Additional information on Sloss can be found at

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=296596 :deal





    They quickly began to pump some of their tremendous fortune into the hotel.

    Improvements included:

    Adding new bathhouses
    Hiring a new landscape architect
    Piped water to the hotel directly from the springs
    Hiring a French chef
    Adding an indoor billiard parlor and bowling alley at the spring yard
    Setting up slot machines, roulette tables and numerous card games in the basement
    A brass band would welcome guests as they exited the train
    Wooden boardwalks built as pathways to the spring yard

    Blount Springs was thriving and became a place to see and be seen.



    The experts proclaimed the area to be one of the healthiest places in the country to live.



    It gained the name the “Saratoga Of the South”.



    I found this interesting article from 1910 in the L&N Summer Outings Magazine.

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    Many of the wealthy patrons fell in love with the area and built summer cottages in Blount Springs.




    Still more interesting places to discover around the area later. :pynd

    #28
  9. Kenbike

    Kenbike Been here awhile

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  10. MarkNC

    MarkNC Just Strom'in Along

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    Great History in that area. Thanks for Sharing, Looking forward to the
    rest.
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  11. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    A series of events took place that created the demise of Blount Springs.

    Those details will be provided later in this report.


    Stay tuned. :nod
    #31
  12. Montek

    Montek Eternal Noob

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    mighty finer report there debandi
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  13. slabm7

    slabm7 Been here awhile

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    I have always been fascinated by the way life was lived 150 years ago. You do a great job of presenting it. I'm in!
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  14. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    Watch this space. :thumb
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  15. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Jax Off again.

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  16. 2degreesout

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  17. heineken

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  18. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    With more and more patrons visiting Blount Springs, the gazebo was improved over the years. The architectural details were impressive. As the passengers arrived by train, they would be welcomed by a brass band.

    This is from a visit by the New York Press Association in 1874.


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    I can still hear the band.........




    Let's keep looking around......
    #38
  19. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

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    Everywhere you step, there is history.

    I have a clock almost identical to the one one the mantel. My Dad wound it every morning. I was on the mantel and the old fireplace was sealed up since we had a fine wood/coal stove. My brother remembers hearing steam trains on the L&N which was about a mile from our house.
    #39
  20. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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