Alexander County’s Healing Springs Hotels

If you go searching for info about sulfur (or “sulphur” as you’ll see it spelled most commonly in the past) springs resorts in NC you’ll have tons of information to wade through. About the turn of the century, there was a definite fad for bathing in sulfur saturated water for apparent health benefits, and resorts even sold it bottled for drinking. Despite Alexander county’s rural setting, there was not only the real estate but the demand for two of the resorts locally.

The resorts were frequented by well to do people who would catch trains from out of state to come to the area in hopes of renewed health and vigor. “Diamond Jim” Lucas was one of the more well known locals to spend time at one or both resorts.

A couple postcards from Davis before it closed.

Despite their size and importance, I believe nothing remains of either resort today.
I myself have driven past the area where Davis was, about 1 mile north of the Lucas Mansion in Hiddenite and can’t visualize where it might have been. Because it has been gone for so long, no likely footprint can be seen on aerial photos either.
All Healing Springs is supposed to have existed in some form as late as the 1980’s before also burning. I have been unable to see it from the road driving it’s length or to find it’s location on aerials either, despite having access to maps from 1946.

Ad from 1916 declaring that the historic flooding has not blocked access to the hotel.

One thing that can hinder research about any sulfur springs resort is the liberal use of “All Healing Springs” in the name of these resorts. Without digging very deep, you can find them in several counties and numerous other states. One of the most popular was in Gaston county as early as the late 1880’s.

The Davis resort was doing well enough in 1921 to sell stock in the operation.

It could be that some old timers have a recollection of one or both the resorts from oral history passed down. For the most part today though, residents of Hiddenite and Taylorsville know very little about the area’s health tourism past, despite their names being written into the landscape with Sulphur Springs Rd. in Hiddenite and All Healing Springs Rd. in Taylorsville.

Postcard from the Taylorsville resort.

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