Hale Spring

Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia

Scrapbook Memories

Mildred McConnell's Scrapbook Articles

Home ] Up ] One Room Schools ] Saratoga School ] Addington Frame ] Clinchport ] [ Hale Spring ] Patrick Hagan ]

Click on an article to view.
Use your browser's back button to return to this page.


Hale's Spring-Interesting Place

Hale's Spring, near Midway Elementary School, is by all means the largest spring in Scott County. The enormous amount of water from this spr­ing doesn't appear to flow out of the earth – it bubbles straight up from below as if it were a giant artesian well or a mam­moth fountain hurrying to es­cape from intense internal pressure.

It would take a pipe of 18 or 20 inches in diameter to carry all the water from this magnificent spring of crystal clear water. It is said the flow is unaffected either by a pro­longed drought or a week's downpour of rain. The writer of this sketch once asked Cap­tain Drayton S. Hale concerning the effects of a drought or a flood on this spring. Cap­tain, as I remember his words, said, "Sonny, this spring acts much like the Gulf Stream: In the mightiest floods it never overflows and in the sever­est droughts its volume never diminishes."

Captain Hale, who died in 1915, was a remarkable man. He was one of two men in Scott County who voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The other was C. D. Vermillion, a cousin of Captain Hale.

D, S. Hale was postmaster at Hale's Mill for years. He was a well read, well educated man for his day - a man of vision interested in public af­fairs throughout his long life. He had a splendid library and was a lover of good literature.

Captain Hale operated a corn mill using the water from his spring branch to turn the wheel.  He operated this mill for years, but in 1897 he decided to divert , Copper Creek and build bigger mills when he got more water power. He, therefore, undertook digging a tunnel through the dogtail, a hill of limestone about 300 or 350 feet through, extending to Copper Creek thereby forming an elbow bend in the creek. The tunnel digging was all done by hand. The crew of workers was never more than two or three at a time - two used pick, shovel, dynamite and black powder - the third operated a wheelbarrow to move the stone and dirt outside. The project was finished in seven years. A dam was built across Copper Creek and its mighty waters came roaring through.

With the additional water power Captain operated a sawmill, a corn and wheat mill and a rock crusher.

Captain Hale kept the spring and brook well stocked with speckled trout and of these finny friends he was ex­ceedingly proud.

The Hale home, located near the big spring, was torn down some years ago and taken to  Lynn Garden, a suburb of Kingsport, Tennessee.  It was built again in the image of the original building.

The old mill houses are gone without a trace. Nothing is left of the dam of Copper Creek except the bottom log - there it is today easily seen through the clear water of that fine mountain stream.

The site of the mills is now covered with tall timbers reaching for the light - some of them cedars, sycamores, poplars, sourwoods, walnuts and oaks straight as arrows without a branch for forty feet or more.

One of Captain Hale's sons, Nathan Hale moved to Knox­ville and was elected to Con­gress from the Second Tenn­essee District. A grandson of the Congressman is a famous sculptor living in New York. He recently visited in Scott County.

Nathan Cabot Hale Sculptor

Nathan Cabot Hale carries the American heritage of demo­cratic values and humanistic responsibilities into the arts. He is known as a leading fig­ure sculptor working in the "Family of Man" tradition begun by Auguste Rodin and Gustav Vigeland. He has also pioneered in the development of the new sculpture medium of welded bronze. In addition to this he writes on aesthetics, has taught at one of the leading art schools, done movie and book illustration, and even de­signed sets for the theater. He is now working on his own long-range project for a sculp­ture park built on the theme of "The Ages of Man."

Mr. Hale has had successful one-man shows in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He has executed distinguished por­trait commissions, done archi­tectural bronzes. His works have been exhibited in leading museums, art centers and gal­leries throughout this country, including: Group Shows: Carlebach Gallery 1946, Roko Gallery 1948­1950, Jacques Seligmann Gal­lery (Bernhardt crystal) 1958­1960, Terrain Gallery 1959, Feingarten Galleries (Chicago, New York) 1960-1961, East Hampton Gallery 1961.

Home ] Up ] One Room Schools ] Saratoga School ] Addington Frame ] Clinchport ] [ Hale Spring ] Patrick Hagan ]