No Destination: Russell Springs


This community - Russell County's largest - was known as Big Boiling Springs when it was founded, though the local post office (est. 1855) postmarked letters as being from Kimble, Ky. It was not until 1901 that the town was named Russell Springs.

I drove through quickly; the only site I was able to see was a historic marker in a small park - Chalybeate Springs:


A health resort long known as Big Boiling Springs, operated before 1850 by family of Sam Patterson, among the earliest settlers. Log cabins (12) called Long Row were built for guests who came here for amusement, pleasure, and the medicinal iron and sulphur water. In 1898, large hotel built which burned in 1942. The spring has been capped for use as a well. [Marker 1233]

Unfamiliar with the term 'Chalybeate' I inquired further. The term simply refers to mineral spring waters with heavy iron deposits. Derived from the latin word for steel, "chalybs," the most famous chalybeate spring is Turnbridge Wells in Kent, England. Lord Dudley North discovered Turnbridge in 1606 and later wrote: "These waters youth in age renew //Strength to the weak and sickly add //Give the pale cheek a rosy hue //And cheerful spirits to the sad." [cite].
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