Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A day at White Sulphur Springs... in 1869

Drinking the water, shooting, bowling, billiards, dancing, walking, talking, riding and eating...


"The morning has dawned...visitors now gather around the health-giving fountain, and after quaffing its waters, wend their way to the morning meal.  This over, the business of active enjoyment for the day begins.

The pleasant walks that penetrate the lawns and environ the grounds invite many to healthful exercise.  The billiard saloon, with its numerous tables, entices many votaries; the bowling alleys soon resound with the merry laugh of youth and beauty, and thus the hours glide swiftly away; while from another portion of the grounds is heard the clear, keen report from the pistol gallery, telling how promply Young America is preparing to avenge his insulted honor.

The beautiful rides and drives, with their glorious mountain and intervale scenery, attract some, while the quiet game, the alluring book, or the pleasant companion solace many others.  Thus they take no note of time, save from its loss, until the warning sound of the dinner bell rings forth the noontide hour, calling to prepare for the mid-day meal.  Again the fountain is thronged, and then to the sound of rich-toned music, discoursed by a well-trained band, the crowd, after the hour of preparation has elapsed, assemble in the immense and well-furnished drawing-room for a brief social reunion, before partaking of the great meal of the day.  Dinner over, the drawing-room again becomes the centre of attraction...

The company, wearied with converse or the promenade, retire to their cottage homes, or to the inviting shade of the wide-spread oaks...who in genial converse while the hours away until the lengthened shadows and the fragrant air again invite to the walk, the ride, the drive, or other active exercise.  Then is heard the summons to a social reunion at the tea table, after which the sprit stirring music calls the young and the gay to the giddy whirl of the ball-room.  ...

Nowhere else can such a scene be witnessed; nowhere else can such a scene be more innocent than here.  Thus flit away the glad hours until the waning night bids to calm repose. ..."
The Mineral Waters of the United States and Canada... by J. J. Moorman, M. D. Resident Physician at the White Sulphur Springs... Baltimore: 1867.
©2014 Patricia Bixler Reber

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