American History & Genealogy Project
“History of Wildwood Springs”
site of an old health resort
About three and one-half miles north of Roxie on the Y. & M. V. Railroad, is the site of an old health resort known as Wildwood Springs. There are nine springs, the largest measuring about 4 feet by five feet. The water in these springs was found to be absolutely pure and the sand in them is as fine as flour, being excellent for polishing. It has always been thought that these springs have no bottom and the have been measured to a depth of three hundred feet without touching the bottom. These springs for the dead of Well’s Creek which flows through Roxie and was the great springs of pioneer days.
During the Civil War the place was owned and operated by the Millers. A hotel, dance pavilion, bowling alley and bathing pool were constructed and visitors came from various parts of the country.
Several years later the Millers sold the place to Dr. M. C. Johnson who after a short time, sold it to Mr. Tom Whitehead (John Thomas Whitehead,1857-1923), who was the last proprietor. Mr. Whitehead rebuilt the hotel as may be seen from the following clipping of April 9, 1891:
“Mr. Whitehead is preparing to build a large hotel at Wildwood Springs. The number of visitors to the famous springs is annually increasing, hence the demand for a larger hotel. Work will begin on it in a few weeks.”
This hotel was the largest ever built at Wildwood Springs and contained about seventy rooms. When the Y. & M. V. Railroad was built the trains stopped there because of the many visitors to the springs.
About 1895, the large hotel burned and was never rebuilt. Since that time it has gradually grown into a wild state, but is still a beautiful and interesting spot.
Wildwood Springs was also a point of interest for the homefolks as well as visitors. The Franklin Advocate of July 16, 1891, gives us the following: “Two Beautiful Cakes to be Voted to the Most Popular Candidate and the Prettiest and Sweetest Young Lady.”
“At the picnic at Wildwood Springs August 1, 1891, a beautiful cake mounted with a victorious ensign will be voted to the most popular candidate for office in Franklin County. Another will be presented to the one receiving the highest number of votes for being the prettiest young lady on the ground. A vote in each instance costs only five cents. Proceeds will be appropriated to the Hamburg School.
“Preparations are being made to make the day an enjoyable one. Wildwood Springs are noted for the fine water which flows from them and not better place could have been selected for a picnic.”
References: Dr. J. L. Calcote, Hamburg, Miss.
Miss Clara Whitehead, Roxie, Miss.
Franklin Advocate, Meadville, Miss., April 9, 1891
(Reprinted from the Franklin County WPA Records)
Contributed by Ann Allen Geoghegan
Note: This Resort was mentioned many times in the Susan Sillers Darden Diary, which is currently being transcribed for the Jefferson County MSGenWeb Project!
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