Photo Submitted by Bill Belt
To email Bill

Crittenden Springs Hotel

Click Here to enlarge photo and see the people standing on the verandas


By:   Brenda Travis Underdown
To email Brenda

This once famous Hotel was located in Crittenden County, Kentucky about 12 miles from the
county seat of Marion, Kentucky.
The Crittenden Springs Hotel was built in 1887 by the Crittenden Springs Company, Inc., which included several prominent business men located in Marion, Ky.
For 25 years the hotel flourished as a mineral spring health resort, during an era when people felt drinking and bathing in various types of spring water was beneficial to one's health.
Mr. J. S. Smith, was engaged as manager for the season in 1893, and was busy working on the grounds and "putting the house in order." The magnificent 125 room, three-storied,
gingerbread trimmed hotel was being burnished up inside and out, and the beautiful grounds were being touched up with the skill of a landscape artist.

Mr. Smith tells the public that every convenience known to the modern hotel will add to the comfort and pleasure of those who are so fortunate to choose Crittenden for their outing this year.
There are electric bells in every room, tasty bath rooms for hot or cold, fresh or sulphur water baths; a fine billiard hall with three superb tables, a handsome 10-pin alley, lawn-tennis courts
plus fishing, frog shooting, and a good livery stable for fine riding and driving pleasure.
An admirable dancing hall is being arranged, and a splendid band has been engaged for the entire season. The parlors are magnificently furnished, the bedrooms are marvels of beauty and comfort.
A wine room is one of the new features. A system of waterworks is being put in, and huge windmills will force the water to every floor in the building.
The culinary department of the huge establishment will be in the hands of skilled artisans, and in every appointment no pains and no means will be spared to make it reach as near perfection as possible.
The acres upon acres of woodlands with their great shade trees, merry hills, mossy banks, charming walks and lovely mountain views make the place one of the loveliest in the whole country.
While the $60,000 or $70,000 spent has added to the beauty of the place, nature has added the greatest bounty and it is mysteriously hidden in the wealth of health-giving waters.
The sulphur water has no superior, the hundreds who have tested it are witnesses to this fact. Then there are also half a dozen of the fine chalybeate springs as you would find anywhere around.
There is indeed a mine of health and wealth in these waters, which nature has so kindly brewed for man.

The road from the Marion railroad depot to the springs is being put in better condition than ever before, the distance has been shortened, and the rough places in the road eliminated.
The drive this season will have none of the inconveniences usually found. A uniformed porter will meet every train to take charge of and check baggage and look after the comfort of guests.
Marion's livery stables have available horses and carriages for hire, and as the daily trains arrive a line of carriages will be on hand to transport guests to the resort.
Visitors also came to spend time at the pavilion that was built over the sulphur spring. The rancid odor of the water from the sulphur spring could be smelled a great distance from the hotel itself.
The spring bubbled up from under a pavilion, which was called "The Gum."

You could walk from the hotel to the pavilion on board walks that were built for easy walking. There you could sit on the benches and relax and drink of the health giving water and exchange resort news.
The boiling sulphur spring was known and appreciated by settlers as far back as the beginning of the present century. For dysentery and complications arising from indigestion, it has no superior and the most obstinate cases have frequently yielded to the alleviating influences of the water after a week's use. For diseases of the urinary organs, chronic diseases of the skin, rheumatism in all its stages, this water is a standard specific.
It is a speedy cure for nervous complications arising from overwork or anxiety. For many of the female diseases it affords a permanent remedy. It is also highly valued as a remedy for chronic erysipelas, blood poisoning and kindred afflictions.
The use of these waters, drinking and bathing, is a recuperative remedy for hundreds or more of the afflictions the human race is heir to. Its analysis, as well as its actual operation on the human system, is indispensable evidence that it ranks with the best mineral waters in the county.


The Crittenden Sulphur Spring resort flourished until 1910 when people began to doubt the medicinal purposes of the sulphur water and the final demise came when nearby lead and zinc mining operations caused the water to disappear from the springs.
In 1919 the hotel was torn down and part of the lumber was reused to built a family home. What is left of the home now stands vacant and unusable. Only pictures and past history is all that is left of the once famous and popular Crittenden Springs Hotel.


page by Peggy Gilkey
Back to Crittenden Co., KyGenWeb