July 18th, 2005


Tatham Springs Hotel, Part VII

Part I   - The Exterior of the Hotel
Part II  - The Pool  & Bath Houses
Part III - The First Floor Interior, A
Part IV  - The First Floor Interior, B
Part V - The 2nd Floor Foyer, Hall, and Exterior
Part VI - The 2nd Floor Interior
Part VII - In search of the Tatham Spring

Part VII - In search of the Tatham Spring

In Part III, I told of speaking with the property's owner Todd.  What I didn't mention was that he told me he knew where the old spring was.  As we were standing there by the pool, he pointed away from the back of the Hotel toward a line of trees.  A large hay field lay between here and there in the "upper" river bottom.  Closer to the river, there was a "lower" bottom which looked to have been planted with corn the last time it was utilized.  Todd told me that he had gone exploring on the other side of the creek which was down by the tree-line.  He said if I followed the lower bottom in a straight line from the pool, I would reach a "point".  Directly on the other side of the creek from that point, he said, was a pipe sticking out of the ground.  He had learned in his own inquiries about the property that the pipe was the old tap into the underground spring which provided the mineral water for the Hotel.  He also said that he had been told that at one time there had been benches built around it which were presumably still there, buried beneath the mud from the river's flood seasons.  He said he had been told that at one point, a huge gazebo had been built over the entire thing.  He said that, right now, there wasn't any sort of access across it, but that in the future, as his excavation practices took him further that way he planned to try to uncover the spring area and see what was underneath all the mud.

Having exhausted my exploration of the Hotel later in the day, I decided to go in search of this pipe.  It might not be very exciting, but I figured it would put a nice cap on my visit here - to see the place that was the actual draw for the Hotel.  To see the thing which actually gave this community its name.  I began walking the lower bottom toward the direction of the tree line.  This is where you will discover just how not-to-scale my little diagram is, to which I will subject you once again later in this entry.  The treeline which runs along the creek is probably a good 100 yards from the rear of the Hotel.  From this distance, you can get a feel for just how big the Hotel really is.

To the far left you can see the pump-house.  You can see one of the pool's rails near the center of the photo and one of the bath houses over toward the right.  Of course, you can see all three wings of the Hotel from the rear, running toward the front which connects them all.  I followed the lower bottom toward the creek, but I got distracted by something along the way.

There is a huge junk pile here on the rear of the property containing what I presume are objects which once resided inside the hotel.  There are old bed springs, sub-flooring, carpet, and all sorts of lumber and scrap metal.  While checking this out, my eye was drawn to something else: a cool little water fall in the creek bed.

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