Wish You Were Here: Retreat to Tennessee’s
Patrons seeking the benefit of mineral springs endured arduous rides
on horseback and in wagons to reach the waters in the highlands of East
Tennessee. With resort development arising after 1830, these locales
became true destinations. Stagecoach routes certainly served
some of the earliest health seekers. But as resorts across the
state came into their own, they utilized a combination of the burgeoning
railroad system and hacks, carriages, and “omnibuses” to
complete the conveyance of customers to their establishments.
2nd Morgan Springs Resort in Rhea County, ca. 1915.
Looking Back at TN Photograph Collection
Galbraith Springs pamphlet
Railroad "Train Tables" made an effort to list the stops for the watering spas along the route. The small annual advertising pamphlets published by many of the resorts would often include a map such as the one on the back of the Galbraith Springs (Hawkins County) 1893 publication emphasizing the connections to particular railroad lines. Railroads even sponsored their own works. A case in point would be the 1882 Guide to the Summer Resorts and Watering Places of East Tennessee produced by the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad Company for the promotion of their business through these sites.
Nolichucky River railroad bridge with
Unaka Springs Hotel in background,
Looking Back at TN Photograph