CRUMPLER —The Healing Springs in Crumpler continues to be a popular destination for guests and locals of Ashe County.
Currently, the spring sits on property alongside the Cabins at Healing Springs which were recently restored by owners Anne Pression and her husband Tom.
The couple moved from Alaska to Wilson, North Carolina and were visiting Ashe County when they came across the Cabins at Healing Springs. They soon purchased the property and began restorations.
According to Pression, whenever she and her husband began restoring the property many of the locals weren’t confident that the buildings could be saved.
The cabins were originally built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and were in need of serious repair. They had previously been abandoned for nine or ten years until being purchased by Pression and her husband.
“There were a number of people who stopped and said things like just light a match, its not worth saving, or you’re wasting your money,” Pression said. “We got about four or five months of that.”
Currently, there are 14 units that have been restored. Pression and her husband did all of the work themselves using salvaged lumber close to the same age as the cabins.
Pression said there is still one cabin left to be renovated.
A local resident recently provided salvaged lumber from an old barn near the same age as the cabins that will be used for the renovation.
The cabins range in size and sleep anywhere from two to four people.
Many of the cabins have WIFI and TV’s but still have the original historic features despite the modern amenities.
Smaller cabins have a kitchenette which include a mini-fridge, coffee pot and toaster oven. Larger cabins have a full-sized kitchen available.
Although breakfast is not served at the Cabins at Healing Springs, Pression says it’s still comparable to a bed and breakfast.
“We talk to them, we make recommendations, we chit-chat, there’s a lot more contact,” Pression said. “Here you have a lot more interaction.”
Guests also have convenient access to the water at Healing Springs.
“That’s the same water people have been drinking since 1883,” Pression said.
The springs were discovered in 1883 by William Barker. In 1888, H.V. Thompson built a hotel with a restaurant on the property which burnt down in 1962.
An analysis of the spring water found it contained sodium arseniate and sodium bromide and is reported to cure anything from poison ivy, cancer, indigestion, eczema, boils, syphilis, tumors, and ulcers.
“Thompson was positive that it was the eighth wonder of the world and it cured everything,” Pression said.
Thompson bottled the water and sold it for $6 per case which included six half gallon bottles.
Between 1889 and 1899, there was an enormous export of water from the spring. According to Pression, they were hauling the water out in 50 horse drawn wagons a day.
The spring water has not been sold since 1946 and is now offered to anyone for free.
Pression said she wants to have the water reanalyzed in order to compare it to the analysis of the water that was conducted in 1889. The analysis will show if it still is made up of the same exact minerals as it was back then.
Guests of the Cabins at Healing Springs aren’t the only ones making use of the spring water.
“We have some people that come up here regularly that you’ll see every couple of months,” Pression said. “They will literally fill the trunk of their car with bottles they bring and then off they go until they come back a couple months later.”
On Oct. 22, 1976, the cabins, spring house, and grounds were entered on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Cabins at Healing Springs is located at 1096 E. Healing Springs Rd. in Crumpler.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 336-982-6262.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.