Bloodon Springs State Park It is a local public recreation area of four mineral springs that were once part of a historic spa in Bladon Springs, Choctaw County, Alabama. Analysis by a government geologist in 1845 revealed that the springs contained sulfur, iron, magnesium, and calcium. The park came under local control after the state closed it in October 2015. The state park – which offered a small campground and picnic area – was one of several that closed or faced cutbacks in 2015 due to government budget cuts.
The springs, named after the hotel’s first owner, John Bludon, were discovered by James Conner as a spa in 1838. Travelers from different countries were attracted by the mineral content of the spring water, which was believed to have healing properties. Having built cottages capable of accommodating a hundred guests, Conner improved his resort in 1846, making a grandiose Greek Revival-style hotel that could accommodate an additional 200 people. The structure consisted of a full-size two-story veranda opposite, a ballroom, bowling alley, billiard room, hotel bar and ice rink. A lattice pavilion above the main spring, baths, a lattice gazebo, and a croquet court were part of the foundation. The hotel was one of the largest wooden hotels ever built in Alabama, and together with the area that has earned its sources the nickname “Saratoga South”.
The hotel operated through the Civil War, finding full service again by 1870. then in the 20th century its popularity declined until it closed “sometime after 1913”. The logging crews lived here until, in 1934, the hotel was acquired by the state to house civil servants. The site was reopened as a state park after the hotel burned down in 1938. The cottages were eventually demolished or relocated, making the pavilion above the main spring the only remaining original structure. The park came under local control after becoming one of five Alabama state parks that were closed by the state in 2015.
The water from the springs is saturated with sulfur-fixing bacteria and has a slightly yellowish tint. It has a faint sulfur odor and contains small bacterial clumps similar to gauze. These bacteria are harmless to humans. Although most visitors come to bathe in the water, it is also drinkable and even pleasant to drink after the solids have been strained and the water has cooled.
Activities and amenities
- Bloodon Springs State Park. Geographic Names Information System… United States Geological Survey.
- Salzby, James Frederick (1960). Historic hotels and resorts in Alabama… Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. S. 51–58. ISBN 0-8173-5309-7… Received February 6, 2017.
- Bloodon Springs State Park. Alabama State Parks… Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources… Received December 28th, 2015.
- Mozley, Brandon (March 24, 2016). “The bill prohibits the transfer of state park funds to other agencies”. Alabama Political Reporter… Received June 7, 2016.
- Gattis, Paul (30 September 2015). “5 Alabama State Parks Are Closing”. AL.com… Received December 28th, 2015.
- Mozley, Brandon (December 26, 2015). “State to close Outdoor alabama magazine “. Alabama Political Reporter… Received December 28th, 2015.
- Thomas W. Ress (March 4, 2013). Bloodon Springs State Park. Encyclopedia of Alabama… Alabama Humanitarian Fund… Received December 28th, 2015.
- Bloodon Springs State Park. Bird watching trails in Alabama… University of Alabama Economic Development Center… Received February 6, 2017.