Whitestone Springs part 1: Visiting the spring and hotel
|from the July, 23rd 1902 edition of the Anderson Intelligencer|
Whitestone Spring is now part of Croft State Park on land that was a military camp from 1940-1947. The official way to get there is to hike there from within the park, but there's also an old road you can follow from Whitestone Spring Road, located on the park's eastern edge. I went the official way, so the park gets their admission fee and because I haven't been hiking inside this part of the park before.
I arrived at Croft State Park later than I planned. I picked up a paper map at the office and headed down the road to the trailhead for Fosters Mill Trail Loop.
The rest of the way was mostly unremarkable.
The spring still works, but the water doesn't shoot as high as it did in the newspaper accounts I had read.
The spring was once known as Kirby Springs. J. T. Harris bought the spring and renamed it to White Stone Springs. The spring water was bottled and marketed as White Stone Lithia Water and claimed the ability to cure just about any ailment.
I learned from my pre-adventure research the hotel was located on one of the surrounding hills. Several obvious paths presented themselves.
The rightmost choice was a path leading straight up a hill. I thought it unlikely the hotel was up there, but I wanted to be thorough so up I went. I did find a small pile of brick rubble up there so something was there, but no hotel.
The middle choice was a wide path that led me toward Whitestone Road according to the map I had stored on my tablet combined with the GPS trace my tablet recorded. This must have been the road that led to the hotel.
The last choice was a path curving around the side of a hill. This one looked more like it.
I used my GPS traces from the trip to add the location of Whitestone Springs, the trails to get there, and the paths around the spring to OpenStreetMap for everyone's benefit:
View Larger Map
With the sun now setting, I arrived at White Stone, SC with just enough light to photograph two historic buildings in the town. The rather small post office:
My photos from the Whitestone Springs visit are in an album at Google Photos, and in a set at Flickr. My photos from White Stone, SC are in a different album at Google Photos, and in a different set at Flickr.
In the next part, I'll go over the more interesting newspaper articles I found about the spring and hotel from the Chronicling America and Google News archives, including a drama involving a theft, an accusation, a lawsuit, and ending with a sudden death.