Located in Historic New Lebanon

Lebanon Springs

Lebanon Springs
 
Category:Places

The Healing waters of the Warm Spring drew the Mohicans and later Europeans to this area.  In 1756, During the French and Indian War, the Mohicans lead a British soldier, Captain James Hitchcock, to cure him of a debilitating skin disease. Impressed by the medicinal powers of the water, he returned to Lebanon Springs after the Revolutionary War, leased a small house downhill from the Spring, and piped in the water.  Soon he began renting out his bathtub to other sufferers: thus the spa was born.

In the decades between the Revolutionary War and the 1860s, Lebanon Springs was one of the most fashionable spas in the United States, welcoming wealthy and distinguished guests from around the world.  This high society clientele decamped to newer resorts after the Civil War and local hotels began to cater to the middle classes.  By World War I the heyday of Lebanon Springs had ended.

Lebanon Springs included the following historical buildings:

Lebanon Springs NY Columbia HallColumbia Hall [1794] - Demolished.  The first spa/hotel, and the largest and most opulent of Lebanon Springs many hotels.  With the best view and direct access to the adjacent Spring, it grew to include ornate ballrooms and 300 bedrooms holding 400 guests.  by 1914 business had dried up and Columbia Hall was forced to close.

The Spring House - Now enclosed, the Spring House was built over the log-lined pool in which the Mohicans and Captain Hitchcock bathed.  The pool is now a cement cistern, but the 72 degree Spring water still flows into it at the rate of 500 gallons/minute.  The Giant Sycamore Tree, just uphill from the Spring, is said to have been planted by Captain Hitchcock.  The Spring House and entire property are privately owned and gated, but it is easily viewed from the road.  A walk or slow drive north and east will yield lovely meadow and woodland views.

elmtreehouseThe Elm Tree House -[1756] Private.  Despite the "Columbia Hall" sign on the porch of this present day apartment house, this building was originally a small residence with a bathhouse attached and was leased by Captain Hitchcock.  It grew into a hotel as word of the water cure spread, and it was named for the huge nearby elm tree, in which a platform was built connected to the hotel's rear porch.

 

The Mohican Blessing Fountain -[1940] Commissioned by the Lebanon Valley garden Club both to commemorate the role of the Mohicans in introducing Europeans to the healing powers of the Warm spring and to make the waters available to passersby.  the renowned British sculptor Sir Henry Kitson created this bronze and stone fountain.