The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Sweet Springs, West Virginia
Sweet Springs, WV, in Monroe County, is an unincorporated community, or village, located near the Virginia border in the Sweet Springs Valley. The community is the site of Old Sweet Springs, a health resort established at the Sweet Springs in the early 1830s. Sweet Springs was settled by James Moss in 1760. In 1772, William Lewis bought the site of the spring and built a small inn.
By 1830, Moss's inn had become one of the best-known resorts in the antebellum South. Thomas Jefferson designed the many-columned main building at the spring, completed in 1833. Wealthy southerners made a visit a part of their annual pilgrimage: summers are comfortably cool, and many guests believed the mineral quality of the water could remedy a number of illnesses. The Sweet Springs are also thermal: at 73 degrees, they are nearly 20 degrees warmer than the mean atmospheric temperature of the valley. Presidents Martin Van Buren (1837-1841), Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), and Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) were among its many guests.