Springs Park History

History of Springs Park

Springs Park - Massena Springs

In the early 1860s, the St. Regis Spring in Massena, New York, produced water advertised as a “curative for all affections [sic] of the Skin, Liver and Kidneys.” Harvey I. Cutting of Potsdam bottled and sold “Adirondack Ozonia Water,” the “world’s most hygienic water” from a spring “in the wildest portion of the Adirondack wilderness, far from the contaminations of human habitation” near Kildare in St. Lawrence County.

Massena Springs– Is situated on the north shore of the Raquette River, about one mile southeast of Massena village.The St Regis Indians discovered these springs to the government party sent out to survey the ten townships in the summer of 1785. They described them as water coming out of the ground that smelled bad, where the moose, the deer, and the sick Indian came to lick the water. Game of all kinds at an early day were very plentiful in the vicinity of these springs at all seasons of the year, being attracted to the spot, no doubt, on account of the saline qualities of the water. The analysis of the water, showing its constituents, together with other waters, will be found on page 124. The white people began to use the waters of these springs at an early day, and Spafford, in 1813, mentions them as possessing a reputation for the cure of cutaneous complaints, and that invalids came hither from long distances to partake of these waters. In 1822 Capt. John Polley built the first structures for public accommodation. Six years later the old and well known Harrowgate House was erected by Ruel Taylor for Parsons Taylor. Numerous private dwellings soon followed, and the springs were improved by curbing and a pavilion, also hot and cold shower baths erected. In 1848 Benjamin Phillips became proprietor of the springs, and erected what was long known as the United States Hotel, and which was very popular. This was burned in 1871, and on its site was erected the splendid Hatfield House, at a cost of $75,000. Besides this the Harrowgate House is now kept by W. R. Stearns, who also has charge of the waters of the springs. In addition to these houses the Wheeler is kept by Alonzo Riley, a well conducted and popular house. There are two stores at the Springs, and through the growth of the place and of Massena village the two have become substantially one. While the popularity and reputation of these waters has not, perhaps, declined, there has in very recent years been a less number of visitors to the place than formerly a fact which is creditable almost wholly to the strong opposition at various summer resorts, such as the Thousand Islands, in the Adirondacks, and elsewhere. http://history.rays-place.com/ny/massena-ny.htm