Main & Church Streets — 1823-1897
The Indians of the Six Nation's knew and used local springs in Richfield Springs a being the source of excellent water and mineral springs used for healing many ills. They called the springs "Stinking Water” as the odor of sulphur was most noticeable. The largest of the springs was located here in Spring Park and became more well known when the first residents were urged to partake of "the waters". The urging was from Dr. Horace Manley, a physician of great note and a graduate of Fairfield Medical College. After Horace Manley and Daniel Richards purchased the land from Nathan Dow in 1820, Manley took half of the land they purchased and erected a bath house, near the large spring.
The Spring House was originally named Page's Tavern and was erected in 1823 by Theodore Page and Samuel Chase. It was 2 stories high and 40' x 30'. About 1840 Joshua Whitney became proprietor and the name was changed to Spring House. Mr. Whitney made additions as did his successors, until the house could accommodate 450 guests. In 1857, the grounds had 2 separate bath houses, a 20' x 30' barn for carriages and horses, and a greenhouse. It was
After the incorporation of the village in 1861, the Spring House and the population increased for the next few years. By 1870, ten more hotels and many boarding houses opened to accommodate visitors who wished to partake of the medicinal waters.
In 1875, Thomas Proctor purchased the Spring House and its grounds. He was successful in placing the hotel in the front rank of American Hotels. In 1890, the new bathing establishment was erected presenting to the public the latest in hydrotherapy. He modernized the building, electrified it, and landscaped the grounds.
The 1880's began "The Age of Elegance", the 1890's "The Golden Age", and a new bathhouse was built in the area of the Spring House. It opened in 1890. Thomas Proctor, who loved the Village of Richfield Springs, continued his contributions to the village which included the town clock, Monument Park, the village library and the John D. Cary, Park.
Entertainment centered on the grounds of the Spring House. The tennis courts were in constant use and major tournaments were held. Symphony orchestras from NYC gave concerts daily during "the season". The Summer theater near the bath house was used for roller skating, church fairs,plays, balls and minstrel shows.
Fire destroyed the Spring House in July of 1897 in spite of all efforts, including a fire contingent
from Utica. The furniture and personal belongings of the guests were moved to the middle of
Main Street by devoted employees.
erected by Mr. C. McMann's 5th grade class
Compiled by M.W. Walters – RSHA
Erected 2011 by Mr. C. McMann's 5th Grade Class.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Science & Medicine.
Location. 42° 51.217′ N, 74° 59.067′ W. Marker is in Richfield Springs, New York, in Otsego County. Marker is at the intersection of E. Main Street (U.S. 20) and Church Street, on the left when traveling east on E. Main Street. Located on the grounds of Spring Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richfield Springs NY 13439, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Thomas R. Proctor Clock (within shouting distance of this marker); Desert Storm Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); French War - 1757 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ganowauges (about 400 feet away); Richfield Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brighton
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 12, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 12, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.