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Trip Planner USA  /  Florida  /  White Springs

White Springs

4.7
Art Museums · State Parks
White Springs is a town in Hamilton County, Florida, United States, on the Suwannee River. The population was 777 at the 2010 census, down from 819 at the 2000 census. Home of the annual Florida Folk Festival, it is a tourist destination noted for historic charm, antique shops and river recreation.HistoryThe Suwannee River was once the boundary between the Timucuan tribe to the east and the Apalachee tribe to the west. When Spanish explorers visited the area in the 1530s, it was inhabited by the former, who believed its springs possessed healing powers. The Indians considered the springs as a sacred healing ground. Any tribe member could bathe and drink the mineral waters without fear of being attacked. The spring water flows through rocks embedded with sulfur crystals and acquires a "rotten egg" smell.The settlement was incorporated in 1831 as "Jackson Springs" by businessmen Joseph Bryant, James T. Hooker, his brother William B. Hooker, John Lee, and James D. Prevatt. In addition to the spring, they planned to build a ferry across the Suwannee River.Bryant & Elizabeth Sheffield bought tracts for a cotton plantation in 1835, and took over the ferry operation the following year. Mr. Sheffield drank the mineral waters and touted their ability to cure nervousness, kidney troubles, and rheumatism, among other problems. They constructed a hotel and spring house from logs. The spring called "Upper Mineral Springs" was very popular and became Florida's first tourist attraction.
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