The following summer Moses had opened for the season and advertised that he had made extensive improvements, and it was now one of the most delightful places in the country. “The Springs are only 150 yards from the hotel and board is only four dollars a week.”
From the July 25, 1890 edition of the Vincennes newspaper:
“The past week found a large number of the best society of Vincennes at Stivers Springs. They left the home and bustle of the city and roamed at will, up and down the hills and through the grove, drinking the famous Lithia water, playing croquet, swinging in the hammocks, and enjoying life as only city people can when out in the country. This is a delightful place to rest and spend a few days. They found no style, no formality, were not bothered by rules of etiquette, in fact spent a quiet week, and will return often doubtless. Mr. Stivers will build a large hotel near the Lithia spring next year, and a bath house which will greatly add to the conveniences.
The water gives such an appetite that the best man gets to the table first. Mr. Clarence Johnson milks the cows, drives the horses and is learning to be a farmer. It is hard to tell which Miss Cora Mallette would rather do, swing or shoot with a target gun. Mrs. Ella Davidson has been very quiet, except the time she took the cart ride and feared the horses would fall down and the cart run over them. Residents from Sumner visiting Stivers Springs were Mr. and Mrs. BF Wheeler, Miss Mable Abernathy, Mrs. Dollahan, Mrs. Carey Bell and Lena Domfry. From Lawrenceville were Mrs. Lassie Roberts, Benny Musgrave, Minnie Whitaker and Ida McCleave.”
From the August 7, 1890 edition of the Sumner Press:
“This noted health resort has been more liberally patronized this summer than ever before, especially by the people of Sumner. Most of the time Mr. Stiver's hotel has been full to overflowing. A number of Sumner families have been treating, among them Dr. Dollahan, Capt. Wheeler, Joe Freese, John and W. E. Brian and J. C. Carey. For the last several Sundays our town has been represented by all who could use it. Realizing the need of improvements, Mr. Stivers is having a lake dug and before next season will have additional buildings erected. Parties, who are thoroughly posted, inform us that there is fully as much benefit to be derived from using the water of Stivers Springs as from those at a distance. That is true no doubt.”
Moses continued with the enterprise by creating a lake, building better accommodations and, of course raising the price.
In the Vincennes newspaper dated May 29, 1892:
“This health resort, situated near Bridgeport, Lawrence County, Illinois, is now open for the season and is better than ever prepared for the accommodation of visitors. A new house has been built, and with a fine lake and park, the surroundings are all that could be desired. The medical properties of these springs are equal to any in the state. A more pleasant and desirable place for rest and recreation cannot be found. The rates for board, five dollars per week, are moderate, and the accommodations excellent. Conveyances meet all visitors at the depot and take them to the Springs. For particulars address, Moses Stivers, Bridgeport Illinois
In the Vincennes Social news column was this item dated July 23, 1895:
“A select party of ladies and gentlemen made an overland trip to Stivers Springs, having been conveyed by Gardner’s’ picnic wagon – an indispensable vehicle for the comfort and convenience of outing parties.
Continued tomorrow Part Three