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Wilbur Wright Travels to the Outer Banks

Showing the Map Route to the Mountain and SeaSide Resorts of the Chesapeake and Ohio Route

(Washington, DC:  C & O Railway, April 1898)
The reverse side of this map lists and describes a number of scenic resorts and natural wonders that Wilbur Wright may have passed on his way to Kitty Hawk, NC. The descriptions below are taken from this brochure and give us some insight into the life and times at the turn of the century.

The Great Hot Springs Valley, containing the Hot Springs, the Warm Springs, and the Healing Springs of Virginia, is located in the heart of the Alleghanies, between towering mountains, from the crest of which, 4,000 feet above the sea, the intervening stretches of country present a beautiful panorama.

The altitude of the valley (2,500 feet), and its protection by the surrounding mountains from wind storms and sudden changes, insure a delightful temperature free from extremes in summer and safe in the most severe winters. The humidity most often experienced in mountain ranges is here unknown, fogs and mists are rarely seen, and the clear dry air is often laden with invigorating ozone.

A branch railway, twenty-five miles in length, has recently been built from Covington, Va., to the Hot Springs, and direct connection is made with through trains east and west-bound on the main line of the Chesapeake and Ohio. Through sleeper between New York and Hot Springs, via Washington.

Especial attention is invited to the fact that the Hot Springs Valley lies midway between New York and Cincinnati and is reached in one night’s ride from either point; that the unequaled medicinal waters of this famous valley are so accessible to the populous regions of the country, and that no other section offers similar attractions or equal facilities in the matter of convenience, climate, baths, hotel accommodations and healthful recreation.

Hot Springs of Virginia. The healing and curative qualities of the waters flowing from the springs, at a temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit, have been recognized for over a century. Physicians of wide reputation and the highest standing in their profession have repeatedly pronounced them equal to the most effective waters of the celebrated European resorts.

At none of the more celebrated places in Europe, and at no other in America, is the temperature prescribed for hot baths that at which the water emerges from the earth in natural springs. The arrangements at these springs are perfectly made, so the the water first sees light in the bath tub, or as it plays on the bather in the spout stream, fresh from subterranean depths, changed with all of its natural heat and mineral, gaseous and other pronounced and mysterious qualities.

The bath-house is a splendid four-story structure of stone and brick, costing over $150,000. All of the appointments are of the finest order and second to none in the country. A great variety of baths are given, and the bather can have any temperature he desires from a cold plunge to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Apartments are arranged in the most comfortable and agreeable manner for hot air or hot vapor baths with tepid or cold plunge, spout, needle, spray, showers, douches of all kinds, electric, medicated, and other baths.

After his bath the bather can rest well in well furnished waiting rooms in temperatures regulated with great care under the advice of resident physicians. The bathing attendants are among the most experienced and skillful in the country. Massage treatment is given by practitioners of the highest order of merit. The physicians of the place are men of high character and standing in the profession, who thoroughly understand the properties of the waters and their uses. Bathing of invalids is strictly done in accordance with their directions, and they are in constant communication with the management of the company and officials of the bath-house as to treatment by attendants, and all that concerns the operation of the establishment.

Analyses show that the waters have practically the same mineral ingredients that the waters at Hot Springs, Arkansas, have, and differ little from those of Aix-les-Bains, France, but the quantity of solids carried is much greater in Virginia Hot Springs waters than in either of the others. The waters are especially efficacious in cases of gout, rheumatic gout, nervous diseases, sciatica, neurasthenia, nervous prostration, dyspepsia of various forms, early stages of locomotor ataxia, old joint injuries, diseases of the liver and kidneys, also disorders peculiar to women. No offensive forms of disease treated.

The mineral drinking springs are all thermal waters, among which are the Lithia, Magnesia, Alum Sulphur and Soda Lithia Springs, all located within easy walking distance of the hotel.

The New Homestead, a large grand hotel.

The New Homestead Hotel.

The New Homestead, a large grand hotel, crowning a knoll that overlooks the bath house and springs, was opened to the public June 18, 1896. Rectangular in shape, with a spacious turf court in the center, its situation is such that sunlight and air have full play on each of its fronts and the court as well. It is equipped and furnished throughout in accordance with the latest designs and most modern improvements, with a delightful dining room, handsome lobby and large bright outside rooms arranged en suite, with electric lights, private bath rooms, steam heat, and fireplaces adapted to burning wood.

The Hotel Virginia is close to the railway station and is connected with it by a covered passageway. It is provided with an elevator, heated by steam, with open fires if desired, lighted by electricity and especially adapted to meet the wants of many who patronize the springs.

Ten new cottages of four rooms each, clustered near the hotels, each with broad porch, and a comfortable brick dormitory afford to families the separate life and enjoyment so much desired, and insure to invalids the exemption from noise and disturbance, often so helpful in promoting their rapid recovery.

The new casino at the Hotel Virginia.

The Casino at the Homestead hotel.

A handsome new Casino adds greatly to the indoor gaieties which form so large a part of the social life at the springs. A golf club and well-kept green are maintained, and are one of the most attractive features of the place. The sewage system is new, extensive and perfect. The grounds are beautiful, and tennis courts, billiards and pool afford ladies and gentlemen delightful recreation. The company has a full supply of well trained saddle horses for men and women, and provides a livery thoroughly equipped in every respect.

Warm Springs of Virginia.These celebrated springs, five miles north of the Hot Springs, are reached from the latter point over an easy, undulating boulevard. The hotel, built in Colonial style, is charmingly situated and well kept, and has long been a favorite resort for health and pleasure-seekers.

The gentlemen’s bath is an octagon 40 feet in diameter, and holds 43,000 gallons of water. The ladies’ bath is circular in shape, with a capacity of 60,000 gallons. These pools are supplied from separate springs, discharging upward of 1,000 gallons of water per minute, at a temperature of 96 degrees Fahrenheit, which, charged with myriads of bubbles and sulphurated hydrogen gas, rises naturally from the bottom of the pools, affording the most delightful and luxurious pleasure bath in the world. There are also private baths of various kinds, and ample provision for the comfort and convenience of bathers.

For three generations these springs have been visited by people from all parts of the United States and foreign countries, and even when it involved a long and tiresome journey in primitive stage coaches they were a favorite resort of the wealth and fashion of Virginia and the South.

The grand boulevard recently completed between the Hot and the Warm Springs is a magnificent driveway. Passengers for Warm Springs will be transported from the Hot Springs station in comfortable carriages, in the brief space of 40 minutes, and have a most enjoyable ride.

The Healing Springs of Virginia.These well-known springs, two and one half miles south of the Hot Springs, also form part of the property of the Virginia Hot Springs Company. The supply of water is abundant, being derived from four springs of essentially the same character, and is beautifully bright and crystalline. The temperature is uniformly 85 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Possessing valuable qualities for drinking purposes this water is sent to all parts of the United States.

The waters of these springs are almost identical in their thermal analysis to the famous Schlagenbad and Ems, in Germany, and with the least possible shock to the system gradually abstract therefrom its superabundant caloric.

The hotel is homelike, comfortably furnished, and remarkably well kept.

A line of hacks runs between the Healing and Hot Springs for the accommodation of guests, making a moderate charge for the service.

Clifton Forge.This admirably-situated town is probably destined to be one of the industrial centers of the South. Already it has extensive railway workshop, and its iron industries are important.

The town is 388 miles from Cincinnati, and is the terminus of the eastern, western and James River divisions of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.

The New River near Hawks Nest, West Virginia.

The New River near Hawks Nest, West Virginia.

The New Gladys Inn, at this point, commands magnificent views of mountain scenery in every direction. Completed this spring, the hotel is one of unusual excellence, being modern in all its appointments, and conducted in a strictly first-class manner. Clifton Forge being the junction of the James River division with the main line, tourists for Natural Bridge and points north on the James River will find this a convenient point to break the journey. The streams in the neighborhood afford good bass fishing, and sportsmen will find few better stopping places than the Gladys Inn.

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge, Virginia.

Natural Bridge. The wonder of wonders in Virginia, and one of the most beautiful of its many beautiful scenes, is the Natural Bridge. Not the pen of the writer, the canvas of the painter, or the plate of the photographer can reproduce the imposing and majestic grace of this exquisite example of Nature’s architecture. One stands spellbound as he gazes on that glorious arch, which spans one of the most romantic glens in the world. There is something mysterious and awe-inspiring in the superb proportions of this famous natural curiosity in Virginia. The place is classic, too, for they tell unbelievable stories about how Washington carved his name in the rock, a couple hundred feet high, and threw stones over the bridge itself. The bridge is 215 feets high, and has a span of 100 feet. Its width is 90 feet.

Lexington. This charming old town is at the terminus of the Lexington branch of the James River division. Here is the Virginia Military Institute, of which Robert E. Lee was so long the president; and Washington and Lee University is also located here. The remains of General Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson lie here, and their statues ornament the place.

Lynchburg is romantically situated on bold hills overlooking the James River, and is noted for its iron and tobacco industries, its healthfulness, and the hospitality of the citizens. Connection is made here with the Southern Railway system for points south.

Daggers Springs. They are ten miles from Clifton Forge, on the James River division, and are among the oldest of Virginia mineral resorts.

Millboro, seventeen miles east of Clifton Forge, on the main line, has a good hotel and outlying cottages situated near the station, at an elevation of 2,000 feet, amid beautiful surroundings. Two miles from Millboro is Millboro Springs, a charming, quiet retreat in the mountains. Its situation is most picturesque, and its mild waters are most helpful.

The Alleghany Hotel. This is one of the new and one of the most attractice resorts on the line of the road. The hotel stands on a plateau nearly 2,000 feet about the sea, and 100 feet about the river. This eminence rises abruptly out of the valley, and the hotel overlooks the town of Goshen. Elliott’s Knob is close at hand, and the view of the valleys, rolling mountains and towering peaks is one of the most magnificent in Virginia. There is no hotel of its size more admirably constructed or better equipped for the comfort of the tourist. The rooms all command superb views. The house is lighted with incandescent lights. The equipment and furnishings are luxurious and in keeping with the exterior appearance of the building. There could be no better situation for mountain drives, the drive to Lexington being especially attractive.

Cold Sulphur Springs, one and one half miles from Goshen, Va.

Rockbridge Alum Springs. This famous resort has accommodations for 600 guests. The springs are celebrated for their many medicinal properties. They consist of alum, chalybeate, and freestone waters, and are highly valued by the medical fraternity. The three hotels and the surrounding cottages make a little city. They occupy an elevation of 2,000 feet, and are in the center of a lawn of fifty acres, shaded by forest trees. The visitor will not be slow to find that he can have activity or rest, as suits his inclination. While the virtues of the water are beyond doubt, and remedy ailments deemed incurable by ordinary formulas, the Rockbridge Alum Springs are not to be considered solely in the light of a sanitarium or hospital. Youth and bounding life will here find scope for their best exertions, where muscles of iron may be toughened into thews of steel. An early breakfast, a hunt, or a foot or horseback trip through the gorges, will bring into play one's power to the full extent, and give zest for the dinner and wholesome sleep in the bed. The route is to Goshen, Va., on main line of Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.
The springs are nine miles distant and are reached by a narrow gauge railway - the Rockbridge Alum
& Goshen R. R.

Basic City is located at the intersection of the Chesapeake & Ohio and Norfolk & Western railways, where connection is made for Weyer’s Cave and the Luray Caverns. The Brandon at this point is a modern hotel, well conducted, and well patronized.

Weyer’s Cave. Leaving for the present the wonderful springs region, Weyer’s Cave attracts attention. Fourteen miles from Basic City, up the famous Shenandoah Valley, it presents miles of halls, chambers, and passages, all magnificently and wonderfully adorned with stalactites and stalagmites of all sizes and every conceivable form.

C&O Scenery along the New River, West Virginia.

C&O Scenery along the New River, West Virginia.

Luray Caverns, forty miles further up the valley, rival Weyer’s Cave in extent and beauty of adornment. One cannot visit either of these caverns withot feeling that he has entered the realm of enchantment.

Afton. Four miles from Basic City, via the main line of the Chesapeake & Ohio, the summit of the Blue Ridge is reached, and from the eastern slope, near Afton, the landscape viewed with a single glance is without a rival east of the Rockies. As the train winds around the Balcony of the Winds, one may turn from the menacing walls that tower upward until the blue-capped peaks rift the clouds, and look far into the Piedmont Valley, clad in loveliest verdure and dotted with peaceful homes, as fair a scene as ever poet dreamed.

Nimrod Hall. Mr. Watson, a young Englishman, and an enthusiastic sportsman, a few years ago purchased Nimrod Hall, an estate in Bath County, Virginia, seven miles from Millboro, which is perhaps the best place in the entire State for headquarters for deer shooting and a fall outing. The estate lies in a lovely valley at an elevation of 1,500 feet, and borders upon the Cow Pasture River, a remarkably beautiful mountain stream. Nimrod Hall and its surrounding cottages provide comfortable accommodations for 70 or 80 guests, and Mr. Watson maintains a large pack of hounds and a good stable of hunters for their use. It is an off-day during August, September and October when the drive does not start from six to ten deer. Bass fishing in the neighboring streams is also excellent. There cannot be a more attractive place then this for a fall outing, while it also affords a very desirable summer home for those who seek extravagant demand on the purse, where the mountain scenery, drives and pathways are of the most attractive character.



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