Buffalo Junction in Mecklenburg County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
—John H. Kerr Dam & Reservoir —
In 1728, a survey party led by William Byrd II visited these springs. In his diary he wrote that the spring water was: “…what Adam drank in Paradise … by the help of which we perceived our appetites to mend, our slumber to sweeten, the stream of life to run cool and peaceably in veins, and if ever we dreamt of women, they were kind.”
Byrd sighted a buffalo near the springs, hence the name Buffalo Springs. Beginning in 1817 a tavern and, later, a small resort were operating at the springs.
When Thomas F. Goode acquired the property in 1874, Buffalo Springs gained national prominence.
It was the water that made Buffalo Springs famous. It was believed that lithia found in the spring water was effective in treating gout, rheumatism and several other ailments.
The curative attributes of “Buffalo Lithia Water” were widely touted, and there were nearly 20,000 outlets selling half-gallon jars of the water worldwide.
The Golden Years
The fame of the spring water spurred expansion of the resort. There were hotels, cabins, a tennis court, bowling alley and golf course at Buffalo Springs. Visitors enjoyed horseback riding, nature walks, dancing to live music, and boat rides on a pond.
In the early 20th century medical knowledge and treatment improved dramatically. The amount of Lithia in spring water was no longer considered to be medically effective.
However, “Buffalo Lithia Water” continued to be marketed until a 1914 court ruling disallowed the use of the word “lithia” to sell the water of Buffalo Springs. Worse yet, the court ruling stated that, “… for a person to obtain any therapeutic dose of lithium by drinking Buffalo Lithia Spring Water he would have to drink from 150,000 to 225,000 gallons per day.”
Even after “Buffalo Lithia Water” fell out of favor, the resort continued to be popular with locals. In 1949, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purchased the land around Buffalo Springs for the John H. Kerr Reservoir. The buildings and their contents were auctioned and hauled off. About all that is left of the resort is a gazebo and a tap from which locals still come to fill their bottles and jugs with the water that “Adam drank in Paradise.”
Erected by US Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District.
Location. 36° 38.907′ N, 78° 39.728′ W. Marker is in Buffalo Junction, Virginia, in Mecklenburg County. Marker can be reached from Buffalo Springs Road (Virginia Route 767) 0.2 miles north of Highway Fifty Eight (U.S. 58). Click for map. This marker is located at the Buffalo Springs Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Buffalo Junction VA 24529, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Buffalo Springs (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Buffalo Springs (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Buffalo Springs (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mecklenburg County / Halifax County (approx. 2.2 miles away); Charlotte County / Mecklenburg County (approx. 5.4 miles away); Prestwould Plantation (approx. 5.7 miles away); Occaneechi Indians (approx. 7.4 miles away); William Munford Tuck (approx. 7.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Buffalo Junction.
More about this marker. On the upper left is a painting of “William Byrd II”.
On the upper center is a Buffalo Lithia Spring advertisement and on the lower center is a photo of the “Bowling Alley, Lithia Springs, Va.”
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Natural Features • Natural Resources • Notable Places •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 779 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.