Thursday, March 24, 2011
Spring break at the beach
Birthday wishes go out to Anita Barnett, who celebrated Tuesday.
Frances Buchanan enjoyed spending time last week with daughter, Alice, at her home in Auburn, Ala. Rev. Bruce McMillan picked her up and brought her home later in the week.
Luann Gibson and daughter, Darcie, Kada Stephenson and daughters, Parker and Peyton, Bailey Blaker, Jennifer McMinn and daughter, Hailey, Mary Clay Brooks and children Caitlyn and Grady, and Kay Wheeler attended the Ole Miss-Florida softball match-up Saturday in Oxford.
Dawn Larson and daughter, Anna Mathis, and Nancy Jones and daughter, Mary Neely, joined Anita Barnett and daughters, Amanda and Rosamond, as well as Erica Owen, at Dauphin Island last week for a beach break. Frances and Tubby Gresham, and grandson, Boothe Gresham came later to enjoy the last part of the week at the beach with the family.
Barbara and Jessica Taylor, Lisa and Houston Dodson, Ellen Gresham, Ethan Davis, Emily Burk, Colby Curtis, Anna Petree, Hank Owens, Cameron Gant and Nick Scott spent last week in Gulf Shores, Ala. for spring break.
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Health spas in Marshall County
In past ages, health spas were the rage all over the world, including Marshall County. The Coldwater River was spring fed and always 56 degrees. It was north of Red Banks and it was crystal clear a century or more ago, but is no longer pristine.
Today foliage around the riverbanks has been removed to make bigger farmland.
The Northern troops used the Coldwater River for a water source and camped there.
For hundreds of years people observed the holy ritual of immersion baptism in rivers and ponds.
Then a “spa” was developed there with a swimming area and picnic area. There was even a bath house or two.
Camp meetings were held there whenever evangelists set up a tent and chairs. We have a map at the museum that Jimmy Power gave us that his father, Shelby Reeves Power, drew of the spa area.
The whole family moved to the campground and stayed in a tent, sometimes for weeks. They brought their groceries, cured meat and garden vegetables with them. There were no refrigerators or ice or electricity so meals were cooked every day.
Mosquitoes were a problem so they brought the mosquito “bars” (netting) to protect themselves at night. Some of this information was provided by Bobbie Lofton, the Power family, (Shelby, Jimmie), and others.
Closer to Holly Springs, in the Hudsonville area, was the Cochran spa, which was owned by the Cochran family. They advertised with postcards. The spa cannot be had without a supply of gushing spring water filled with minerals.
The mineral baths helped cure aches and pains.
Sometimes a heavy canvas was stretched across the yard and pegged tightly for dancing. Then the canvas was covered with cornmeal. These dances became known as “stretcher dances.”
Huge kettles of water were kept boiling for ladies to do their laundry in preparation for the big dances.
In Southeast Marshall County at Potts Camp there used to be “Eagle Springs” south of town. This one had “The Hotel”, a two-story building with porches and rooms were entered from the porch like a modern-day motel.
Water was piped into the hotel from Fern Springs at the bottom of a hill behind the hotel. This one was close to the railroad track and meeting the trains was entertainment.
Tables and chairs were placed under the trees for visitors to sit and socialize while drinking the medicinal waters (one mineral and one alum).
Picnics and political rallies were held on the property with local people furnishing the food. This place got its name from the eagles nesting in the surrounding trees. A boardwalk was built from the train landing to the hotel. It was connected to the creek beds.
Special trains would come from Memphis so Memphis people could come out, eat, visit and drink the mineral water. The mineral water was also shipped to various places and mail-order business was very good for those who weren’t there in person. Annie Ruth Stone helped with this information.
Snow Lake is now in Benton County, but once it was part of Marshall County. The renowned general, Nathan Bedford Forrest married a Beck girl. Her family had a “spa” on Snow Lake in the early settlement days. This spa consisted of a two-story hotel and a boardwalk. The guests could come and drink the water. Entertainment was music, dancing and food.
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