Kentucky Resort Advertisement, 1934

Getting away at a resort hotel is not just a modern trend. Wealthy Americans traveled long distances by stage coach to “watering places” or mineral springs seeking the “curative qualities” and all sorts of entertainment. These resorts offered as many different diversions as all-inclusive resorts today. Guests could enjoy the beautiful grounds; enjoy good food and drinks; play a wide variety of games and sports; enjoy concerts, theatre performances, parties and balls; and socialize. Guests might stay in a family cottage or the main hotel for a week, a month or the entire summer.
White Sulphur Springs, Virginia (now The Greenbriar in West Virginia) and Saratoga Springs, New York, were two of the most famous nationally known resorts. Kentucky was known for Olympian Springs in Bath County, as well as numerous locally popular resorts. Crab Orchard Springs in Lincoln County (advertisement below) was called the Saratoga of the South and was one of the few to stay in business into the 20th century, when new forms of transportation and entertainments caused “taking the waters” to fall out of style. This advertisement, from Louisville’s Courier Journal July 25, 1934, describes the entertainments at Crab Orchard Springs. Times had changed and the visitor in the 1930s could drive to the hotel in a car.
Read more about Kentucky resorts in this article – “Old Kentucky Watering Places” by J. Winston Coleman in The Filson Club History Quarterly, January 1942, Vol. 16, pages 1 – 26

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