Thursday, March 24, 2016

Stivers Springs Part Four

History of Stivers Springs Part Four

The next summer, 1899 the Vincennes newspapers were once again filled with happenings at Stivers Springs.

     “Sunday June 4th, was a gala day in the history of Stivers Springs. It was the day of the annual opening of that popular resort, and people came by hundreds from far and near to attend the festivities of the occasion. 
     Hundreds of our people drove over and spent the day amid the pleasant scenes and although the weather was extremely warm, all report a most enjoyable time and were loud in their praise of the beauty of the Springs and the hospitable treatment of Mr. Geo. Ryan, the genial proprietor.
     The spacious grounds, the beautiful rolling lawn and the refreshing shade of the magnificent groves were never more inviting. Once the resort was reached, the dreadful heat of the day was quite forgotten.  Old visitors to the Springs were surprised and delighted at the many improvements which have been added the past year by the present proprietor. The buildings and main pleasure grounds were beautifully decorated for the occasion.
    The program of entertainment during the day was varied and interesting and added much to the enjoyment of the occasion.  The Highland Band of Vincennes under the leadership of Bert King was present and gave a delightful concert during the afternoon, which was greatly appreciated, so well indeed that the proprietor of the resort contracted with the organization to furnish music at the Springs on the Fourth of July. 
    Another one of the delightful features of the occasion was the ball game between the Vincennes Crescents and the L’ville team.  The game was played on the Springs’ diamonds and resulted in a score of 11-6 in favor of the Crescents.  The resort is now open to the public for the season of 1899 and will no doubt secure the liberal patronage which the place deserves.” 

In addition to social news about the local people who visited on the Fourth of July, on August 16 the papers reported on the big Soldiers Reunion at Stivers Springs. Apparently the old vets appeared quite regularly.
James Bentall of Monroe City Indianan a veteran of the rebellion visited for two-weeks at Stivers Springs in July of 1904.  He had has been coming to the Springs regularly each summer for 21 years. In the Sumner Press he was quoted as saying that “there is no question in his mind but that the medical properties of the Springs have prolonged his life.”

Misses Belle and Amanda Vandermark, of Lawrenceville, Miss Mabel Lewis, Misses Mabel Jones and Lena Baker of Sumner, as well as many others enjoyed the health resort the following year.

However with the discovery of oil in Lawrence County in 1906 rumors began to fly that George Ryan had sold his property for the enormous sum of $35,000. (This figure was actually typed as “$35,00.00” so it could have been $3,500.) Anyway, finding oil in that area greatly increased the value of property and people were wild with enthusiasm.

Conclusion  tomorrow