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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Homeland in Polk County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Historic Kissengen Spring

 
 
Historic Kissengen Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, February 19, 2013
1. Historic Kissengen Spring Marker
Inscription.  Historic Kissengen Spring is located approximately one mile north of this location. At one time the spring discharged up to 20 million gallons of water a day into the Peace River. The spring’s pool was 200 feet in diameter and reached a depth of 17 feet above the spring vent. Its boil reportedly was so powerful that the strongest swimmer could not reach it. Archaeological evidence shows this area of the Peace River was inhabited by Native Americans who established large villages near the river’s springs. In the late 1800s developers sought to acquire the spring as a resort destination and sanatorium. Although plans for rail lines, trolleys, and boats never were realized to exploit the spring for tourism, a dance floor, dive platform, and bathhouses were built, and thousands of locals and tourists visited over 75 years. In the 1930s the popular spring was the site of major political rallies. During World War II, it served as a rest and recuperation resort for members of the military based near Bartow. The spring ceased to be a tourist destination after its groundwater was captured for other uses.
 
Erected
Historic Kissengen Spring image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, October 23, 2015
2. Historic Kissengen Spring
Kissengen Spring (Fall 2015). The water in the spring is run off from the Peace River. This large oak tree was planted after the spring dried up in February of 1950. It now stands in the middle of the spillway once used to regulate the water in the spring.
2011 by In memory of Thomas E. Jackson. Sponsored by the Polk County Historical Commission, Southeastern Geological Society, the generosity of Friends of Kissengen Spring and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-719.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Features.
 
Location. 27° 49.399′ N, 81° 48.296′ W. Marker is near Homeland, Florida, in Polk County. Marker can be reached from Homeland-Garfield Road (County Road 640) one mile east of U.S. 17/98, on the left when traveling east. Located north of Homeland-Garfield Road near boardwalk to the spring. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bartow FL 33830, 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. Homeland School (approx. 1˝ miles away); The W. Henry Lewis House (approx. 4.6 miles away); Site of Fort Meade (approx. 4.7 miles away); Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson Memorial (approx. 4.7 miles away); Fort Meade Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.9 miles away); Union Academy High School (approx. 4.9 miles away); Florida 2000 Center of Population (approx. 4.9 miles away); Christ Church (approx. 4.9 miles away).
 
Historic Kissengen Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken
3. Historic Kissengen Spring Marker
Looking north within Polk County's Peace River Park. The marker is not visible from Homeland-Garfield Road (CR-640).
Historic Kissengen Spring image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, October 16, 2015
4. Historic Kissengen Spring
Bath House at Kissengen Spring, Ca.1905. The spring head was just below the boy swimming in front of the dive platform. Photo Courtesy of the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library.
Historic Kissengen Spring image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, October 23, 2015
5. Historic Kissengen Spring
Two remaining posts which supported the diving platform near the spring head.
Historic Kissengen Spring image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, October 23, 2015
6. Historic Kissengen Spring
Spillway wall and steps on the south/creek side of Kissengen Spring. Note: The spring is surrounded by private property and land access is restricted.
Historic Kissengen Spring image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, October 23, 2015
7. Historic Kissengen Spring
Spillway walls. The spring was on the right and the spillway creek was on the left. Note: The spring is surrounded by private property and land access is restricted.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 14, 2013, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,855 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 14, 2013, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 29, 2015, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Dec. 2, 2020