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.
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.
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.
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.
The Troutman trailer park has been reuploaded, as has Absher Farm and the Private School. Marquee Cinemas, which was never on the original site has also been uploaded. Marquee was demolished this year after less than 20 years in Statesville. The city now has no movie theater left save for the abandoned Newtowne Theater. There was once another theater across from Wal-Mart on I-40, but it was closed and knocked down several years ago. Interstate expansion will eventually cover that area with a road surface. A likely fate for many theaters suffering from Covid-related closures, diminishing profits due to on-demand services, and other economic factors. Good or bad, just like malls, theaters are apparently on the way out.
I’ve added the “artifacts” page for Davis Hospital with the few items I have been able to find. It’s long been a motto in the urban exploration community to “take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints”, but I wish I could go back in time and save some of the old documents that I came across the first several times I went into Davis Hospital. That kind of ephemera is rare and quickly lost. It has little if any monetary value to the property owners. If anyone reading this has any photos, documents, etc. they wouldn’t mind allowing me to photograph, please contact me via email (abandonednc @ yahoo).
I will also be adding a couple less than thrilling locations from the old site. They were some of my earliest attempts at exploring and pale in comparison to more recent explores.
Ashe might seem like a sleepy, rural county on the west end of the state, but back in the early 80’s there was some big city style intrigue going on there. It’s a tale of dirty cops, drug running, motorcycle gangs, and mafia style hits that culminated in a flashy stuntman from Nashville being lowered into the old Ore Knob copper mine to retrieve a couple frozen bodies. The whole story is so convoluted it’s too much to tell in a blog post, but author Rose M Haynes succinctly lays out the details in her book The Ore Knob Mine Murders: The Crimes, the Investigation and the Trials. It’s very methodically researched and written and takes a couple pages to get into, but it’s the only complete account of the story. For someone interested in local history, it’s definitely a must read.
Couple updates over the last several days. A small write up on the disappearance of Ken Mohler. A mystery that I share a small connection to. The Plumber’s House is now live on the locations page. This is a place that was never on the original website. When I get some more free time, I have some “artifacts” from Davis Hospital I’d like to get in the light box.
The story of the Alexander County Hospital is a fascinating one. While many hospitals are dreamed up by individual doctors or else corporations, the Taylorsville hospital was something different. And the best people to tell that story are the ones who lived it, the ones who made it. The residents of Alexander county:
The hospital was never on par with surrounding major hospitals like Davis, but it became an integral part of the community. Today, it’s a 30 minute drive to reach any other acute care facility. In the early days when the hospital was being built, with rural roads and poor conditions, who knows how long a trip to Hickory or Statesville might take.
In more recent years, the town of Taylorsville has used the property’s parking lot for farmer’s markets and various festivals. The local fire department even raised $30,000 using the building as a haunted house during Halloween.
But it’s safe to say that whatever happens now, the building will never be a hospital again, and so much the worse for the residents of the county, whose parents and grandparents worked to ensure their children would grow up with basic human necessities.
The old site is no more. Any old pages on the funkybuu server will now redirect here to the new site. I hope to leave them up for a while until the search engines can catch up with me. I know right now there are a lot of results from engines like Google hitting old pages. If you’re finding yourself here from the anc.funkybuu.net address, welcome.
The Money Place has been added back to the site today. With permission I’ve done some preliminary metal detector surveys on the property. I’ll likely be continuing that as free time and weather allows and will be adding any finds to a dedicated page.