Roanoke Red Sulphur Spring

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Dec 23 10:21:18 EST 2018

On my quest for early railroad articles of the SW VA area, I happen upon a
bit of Roanoke Red Sulphur news as I scour the Roanoke newspapers of that
period. The Virginia Room at the main public library is an invaluable tool,
since many of these papers are not online anywhere. From the Roanoke Times
(actually printed in Salem) of November 25, 1875, the headlline reads
"Roanoke Red Sul.Springs! In New Hands!" The article describes a change of
ownership, new repairs, etc. "Persons visiting this watering place by
railroad get off (by now, this refers to the AM&O) at Salem, Roanoke
County, Va., where conveyances will meet them to take them to the springs -
10 miles distant."

In another paragraph, "The water contains Bicarbonate of Lithia, Soda
Magnesia, and Iron. Also the Hyposulphite Soda, and many of the valuable
Salts and Ammonia and Potash." "Parties destined for the spring upon
arrival will inquire for JNO O. KIZER, agent of the Company. Parties
desirous of seeing analysis of water will call upon Dr. Wiley. Resident
Physicians, Drs. R. F. Berkeley, and J. W. Bruffey."

Stephen Warren, Roanoke

On Sat, Dec 22, 2018 at 10:51 PM NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>

> Today I was poking around in the Daily Dispatch (a newspaper published in
> Richmond) for  June 22, 1857.  Page 3 thereof contains a short
> advertisement for Roanoke Red Sulphur Springs.  The spring, so says the
> newspaper, "is situated immediately on the Turnpike road from Salem to the
> Sweet Springs, and a splendid line of stage coaches will convey Passengers
> of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, without any detention, from Salem
> Depot by the Red Sulphur to the Sweet Springs... being the shortest and
> best route between those points."
> All of which set me to wondering, where was Red Sulphur Springs?  That
> inquiry led to this webpage which details the metamorphosis of Red Sulphur
> Springs to the Catawba Sanitarium:
> So, let's make a deal...  If someone can explain to me the chemistry of
> the water in a "red sulphur" spring, I will buy us both a ticket on that
> "splendid stage coach" from the V&T depot in Salem, up to said spring for a
> little look-see.  With a bit of luck, the old spring just might still be
> pouring forth its healing waters...
> -- abram burnett
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