From another old newspaper article with no source noted, but since the content is a reprint, at least we have the date and source of the reprinted material.
These advertisements describing the delights of the Yellow Springs Hotel almost 200 years are a blend of hyperbole (“…equal, if not superior to any in the United States) and modesty (“The stabling will not be very good”).
What does it tell us about resort life that the first amenity mentioned is the bar?
Take note of the list of ailments our now problematic water was supposed to treat, and also note the emphasis on locally-sourced food.
OLD PAPERS TELL STORIES OF EARLY HOTEL LIFE HERE
The following interesting articles came to us through the courtesy of the Reed Book Shop which makes a specialty of dealing in old books and papers. The articles below were taken from copies of The Piqua Gazette of 1823. While they are in the form of advertisements yet they give a clue to the beginning of the hotel period of Yellow Springs and the Glen nearby.
We believe this is the best information available as to the opening of the first hotel. From this time on the place grew in favor with the public up until the Civil War time. For some years prior to the war the place was known as one of the finest watering places of the country. At one time five hotels were in operation, the largest was on the site as described below
HEALTH AND RECREATION
The Keeper of the Yellow Springs Hotel
Respectfully informs the public, that he is now prepared to receive company, and will endeavor to render them comfortable, during the present watering season. His Bar will always be supplied with the choicest assortment of liquors, foreign fruits etc. etc. and no expense will be spared to supply his table with every article which the country can furnish.
To those whose sole object is health, the Subscriber can say, with confidence that he believes they will not be disappointed. Cases, especially, of general debility, affections of the liver, nervous affections, chronic and acute rheumatisms, dyspepsia, scrofula, weakness of sight, hypochondria etc. may be relieved here, if they can be at any mineral springs in America. The water is a strong and active chalybeate, (the best of tonics) cool and pleasant to the taste, and so extremely light, that, large quantities may be drank, by the most feeble, without the slightest danger. The showering baths are equal, if not superior to any in the United States.
To those who come for pleasure, or to relax the mind from business or study, he can say, that his amusements, though not of the city order, afford an agreeable and healthy exercise. He has beautiful and shaded pleasure grounds, safe and excellent swings, patent bob-logics, etc. etc. besides a most romantic and picturesque country, delightful for rambling, and abounding in almost every kind of game, to be found in the western forests.
Every reasonable attention will be paid to all his guests, and especially will every kindness and indulgence be shewn to those who may seek here for health.
The charges will be moderate.
Reports are already in circulation, that these premises have been pur[chas?]ed ,by a company, who are about to form a “Community” here, on the system of the celebrated Mr. Owen. The Subscriber assures his friends that this is not a fact; nor does he believe it will ever take place. He has no expectation of quitting the Springs during the present season, nor for some years to come. If however, contrary tohis present belief,) the above project should be persisted in, and a sale be effected; and should he determine to surrender possession at any time during the summer; the Public will not be losers by it, as the new proprietors would continue the accommodations, without any intermission, and be much more able to extend and improve them.
J. B. Gardiner
Yellow Springs, Greene Co.
YELLOW SPRINGS HOTEL
Greatest Watering Place of the Western World
The Subscriber has been in the occupancy of this celebrated Watering Place since September last, during which time he has been assiduously engaged in preparing accommodations for various visitors during the ensuing summer, in the best manner which his time and means afford. He has now completed all the improvements, which he designs to make at present, and is ready for the reception of company. Although his buildings, pleasure grounds etc. are not as extensive and well finished, as he is in hopes they will be at a future day; and all the expectations of the public may not be fully realized. Still he can with confidence assure visitors, that their situation will be rendered at least Convenient and Comfortable. His new buildings are so constructed that families of several in number, can be accommodated entirely to themselves; and there are also a variety of small rooms, very pleasant, for single gentlemen and ladies.
The Subscriber has not yet been able to fulfil his intention of preparing tepid baths this season: in another year he expects to furnish them. The cold bath, however, he believes would gernerally be preferred at this place. He has erected in a most delightful and sequestered grove of cedars a new shower house, solely for the accommodation of ladies. The old one has been thoroughly repaired, with new aqueducts, for gentlemen.
The pleasure grounds are considered improved, though susceptible of great additional convenience and decoration.
At the bar of the Yellow Springs Hotel will always be found a choice assortment of liquors, together with all the foreign an native fruits, which can be procured in this county.
The table will be carefully supplied with every variety and delicacy which the neighborhood affords. The world does not furnish a more eligible situation for a Springs House than the one on these premises; and at no place can the valuable articles of Milk and Butter be furnished in a better state.
It may be satisfactory under this head, to assure the public that the Subscriber always keeps his own cows in pasture fields; and that he will never purchase either butter or beef from any but persons well known tohim, and who always pasture their cattle. This assurance is deemed more necessary in this advertisement, as a disease, vulgarly called the sick stomach, has at times prevailed in this vicinity supposed to have originated from making use of the milk, butter and meat of cattle which fed in the woods and prairies, where, it is said, there is a certain poisonous vine or weed, which proves fatal to cattle, and even persons who dieet on their produce. The best informed physicians, however who have long practiced where this disease prevailed, do not attribute it to the cause above stated. Of late years it has almost entirely disappeared from this neighborhood.
The stabling will not be very good. The Subscriber has not yet had it in his power to erect new buildings for this purpose. He will however, promise to furnish excellent hay and grain, good pasturage, and attendtive hostlers.
It is not an uncommon enquiry, in this prudent age of retrenchmnent, “What will be the price?” To this Subscriber can only reply, that at every watearing place the requisitions of guests are so various, and the necessary attentions to some so much greater than to others, that no general rule can be made applicable to all. The terms must vary according to the necessities of the visitor. Where extra room, servants, and other attendance are required the price will be proportionately enhanced. Also, when separate rooms are demanded, the price will be greater, than when two or more persons occupy the same room. The subscriber trusts that he will never be justly chargable with extortion. His character as an Innkeeper at the metropolis of the state for many years, will acquit him of suspicion. Nevertheless, he does not solicit the company of those, who would wish to receive his labor and attention for nothing. It is as impossible for himself and family to “live on art,” as for the debilitated to be entirely restored, without resorting to the Yellow Springs.
To travellers, and occasional visitors, the prices will be the same as at the respectable taverns in the neighboring towns.
While the Subscriber pledges to his guests every exertion in his power to render their tarry here pleasant and salutary, he relies with confidence upon the munificence of an enlightened public to reimburse the heavy expence which has with difficulty incurred and to encourage him to progress in establishing, in one of the most healthy and delightful parts of the western worlds, a Summer Resort for the fortunate sick and afflicted, the young, the gay and the fashionable; which, in its infinite natural advantages, is not surpassed, if equalled, by Ballston, Saratoga, Bedford, or any other Springs in the United States.
J. B. Gardiner
May 20th, 1823