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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DeBandi, Mar 20, 2011.
I love it and can't wait for more!
fascinating - well done
love this thread
amazing information and photography
thank you for sharing this with us
Just across the old stage coach route stood two large hotels.
The remaining footings of the upper Mtn. House hotel still stand today.
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.
The Mtn. House hotel can be seen in the drawing. It's the hotel sitting back behind the main hotel.
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.
Lets go down the hill and look around.
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 -- 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.
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 1880s.
The walls still stand strong today.
The employees lived in small cabins scattered throughout Blount Springs.
I can still smell the food coming from the kitchen.
Nice work........thanks once again!
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.
Additional information on Sloss can be found at
They quickly began to pump some of their tremendous fortune into the hotel.
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.
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.
Why did it fail?
Great History in that area. Thanks for Sharing, Looking forward to the
A series of events took place that created the demise of Blount Springs.
Those details will be provided later in this report.
mighty finer report there debandi
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!
Watch this space.
This is one of the coolest things I have seen on ADV... And that is saying ALOT!!
Such a great job presenting this.... makes my head hurt!
Wahoo, can't wait!
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.
I can still hear the band.........
Let's keep looking around......
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.
Tuned in and waiting for more.