City Directories and History: Piedmont Springs began as a tourist destination in western York County, advertised in 1823, 102 acres suggested that it had medical healing power. At this time Hugh Cain had the springs for sale and in his add stated there seven suitable cottages-cabins on the site suitable for visitors.
In in 1903, Paul Gaffney and W.W. Gaffney, purchased land on Clark’s Fork and created the Piedmont Springs Mineral Company. Mr. L. Baker built the Piedmont Hotel, which included a swimming pool, tennis courts, and bowling alley. In 1914 the land was sold once again, to a company that produced ginger ale. In 1918 the main hotel was destroyed by fire. In the 1920’s a Mr. Harris also built another rustic area for parties. In 1935 H.C. Moore deeded the property to Bethel Presbytery and in 1945 they granted 50% interest to the Enoree Presbytery.
The Rock Hill Herald of Aug. 23, 1918 reported received of the burning of the Piedmont Springs Hotel, located in Cherokee. The details have not been learned.
For a while the area was used as a youth camp well into the 1950’s. In 1976 the land was owned by Frank E. Mills from Canada. Little of the old hotel or builds remain.
PIEDMONT SPRINGS as written in the Western York County Gazetteer: The healing properties of this spring were evidently known before the white man arrived. In a December 1823 issue of the Yorkville Pioneer we read, “A Plantation . . . containing 102 acres, on which there is a Mineral Springs containing many medical virtues, to what the in-firmed and afflicted have resorted and received signal benefits. At which spring there are seven small buildings, suitable for the comfort of those, who may attend the same. HUGH CAIN.” The springs, located near Canaan Methodist Church at Smyrna remained popular well into the twentieth century.
The healing properties of the mineral springs near Canaan Methodist Church at Smyrna (later known as Piedmont Springs) were realized early in the history of York County. Undoubtedly, prior to the coming of white settlers, the Indians were frequent visitors to the springs for cures and healing. Early in the seventeenth century Hugh Cain owned the springs and had evidently constructed numerous small cabins on the site for its visitors.
In 1823, he advertised the property for sale; “A plantation . . . containing 102 acres, on which there is a Mineral Springs containing many medical virtues, to what the infirmed and afflicted have resorted and received signal benefits. At which spring there are seven small buildings, suitable for the comfort of those, who may attend the same. Hugh Cain.”
According to a journal kept by a woman who lived nearby in the Beersheba Church Community, the springs was visited by many in the mid to late 1800’s, some traveling great distances to enjoy its medicinal virtues. For the local youth, it was a favorite picnic spot.
In 1903, Paul V. Gaffney and W. W. Gaffney purchased two tracts of land from John A. Ware on Clark’s Fork for $3,000. The Gaffneys and four others formed a partnership and petitioned the Secretary of the State in 1905 to establish the Piedmont Springs Mineral Company. L. Baker, a contractor, built the Piedmont Springs Hotel, which contained a bowling alley, tennis courts and swimming pool. In 1914, all the holdings were sold to White Diamond Lithia Springs Company which manufactured ginger ale. Fire destroyed the hotel in 1918.
In the mid 1920’s a Mr. Harris built a rustic hotel which became a center for dances and parties for a number of years. In 1935, H. C. Moore deeded the property to Bethel Presbytery and in 1945 the trustees of the presbytery granted one half interest in the property to the trustees of the Enoree Presbytery. There the Presbyterians operated an orphanage and youth camp for a number of years.
The land in 1976, was owned by a Frank E. Mills, a geologist from Toronto, Canada. Only a few remnants of a by-gone era remain.
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