A Brief History
Andrew S. Rowan Memorial Home was once
the famous Old Sweet Springs Resort and was as well known among the
so-called "Beautiful People" as the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs is
today. It is said that
George Washington stayed there, as well as some other presidents and other
notables, possibly also Thomas Jefferson, for whom the main building is named.
It is quite possible that
building, the Ball building (now torn down), three cottages (one of which was
torn down in the seventies when the new men's addition was added) and the Bath
House or swimming pool were all build before the Civil War, possibly around the
1820's or 30's. The bricks in these
buildings, as well as those in
Before the advent of automobiles, transportation was mainly by horses or horse-drawn carriages and the Old Sweet Springs Resort was one of several springs that were visited by the wealthy and influential people of the day. They came for the social life and the healing qualities that they believed the water possessed. Some of them would spend a great deal of time during the summer at these resorts and would visit several of them, going from one to the other during the course of the summer. There was The Greenbrier at White Sulphur Springs, a tavern and stagecoach stop at Crows, Sweet Chalybeate, formerly known as Red Springs, Sweet Springs, Salt Sulphur and many other springs on the route. These resorts provided employment for the local residents and many of them depended on them for their living. When automobiles became fairly common, many of the resorts closed and some of the residents left when their source of employment was gone. Many of these communities are only a shadow of their former selves, but the remains of the resorts can still be seen today, although much has gone to ruin. The Greenbrier, Salt Sulphur and Sweet Springs still stand today while part of Sweet Chalybeate is gone and some of the rest is deteriorated.
Springs, which is to be sold at auction on