Blue Sulphur Springs one step closer to restoration - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Blue Sulphur Springs one step closer to restoration

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     A historical landmark in Greenbrier County is one step closer to being restored thanks to a state grant.

     Governor Earl Ray Tomblin presented a $35,000 survey and planning grant for the Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion located just outside of Alderson.

     The deteriorating pavilion is all that remains of what used to be a huge resort that provided some of the country's first mud baths.

Margaret Hambrick with the Greenbrier Historical Society said, "Back in the 1830's this spring was known for its healing properties and like so many of the other sulphur springs in this area it was really a popular resort."

     After standing for almost 200 years the pavilion is in desperate need of repairs.

     First, it needs a drainage system for the spring, repairs to the foundation, and a new roof.

     Then, the historical society hopes to develop the rest of the land as a family-friendly tourist attraction.

Hambrick said, "It's a little hard to imagine now how many people came to this resort but it could house over 200 and was very popular and very full."

     Back in his hay day, people would come from all over just to enjoy the view.

The historical society will also own two acres around the pavilion and their hopes are that people will once again make their Sunday drives to the area.

     The resort was used as a hospital during the Civil War until it was burned to the ground by Union soldiers.

     And just a mile up the road the farm house still stands where General Robert E. Lee's famous horse Traveler was born and trained by a slave.

Hambrick said, "I can imagine that some of his first training rides brought him up to the blue where he would be shown off for the various guests that were here, in hopes of finding a wealthy buyer."

     If you'd like more information on the Blue Sulphur springs project or would like to contribute, just visit their Facebook page.

Greenbrier County Historic Landmarks Commission also received a $7,000 grant to continue their process of surveying historic resources throughout the county.

These grants are provided by the Department of Education and the Arts through the Division of Culture and History.

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