Alleghany Springs Hotel
P.O. Address Mint, Tennessee
Some History Page 01 / Page 02
In the southern part of Sevier and Blount Counties in East
Tennessee, snuggled close to the base of the Great Smoky Mountains, is
the outlier Chilhowee range, which embraces within the folds of its
ridges many very interesting coves. The Chilhowee range lies in a
southwesterly direction between the French Broad and Little Tennessee
Rivers, and is cut through by Little River at Walland in Blount County.
From the drop off of Bluff Mountain near Sevierville to the butt
of Chilhowee near the Little T, there are many gaps with
interesting names and various lead ridges reaching like tentacles toward
Along the northern slopes, mostly, there is a profusion of
mineral springs, large and small. Sulphur springs are predominant, but
there are other types as well. There are also mineral springs in the
flatlands such as Wildwood Springs and the Black Sulphur Spring.
Dozens of mineral and mining companies were chartered since about
1835 for development of Chilhowee Mountain lands, but none ever really
got off the ground. Some were still in effect when the land was
transferred to the Federal Government. Of all the May springs, Montvale,
The Saratoga of the South, was the largest and most famous. The
site is now used by the Knoxville YMCA as a boys summer camp.
Each transaction states that the tract includes the Chilhowee
Medical Spring and the Yellow Sulphur Spring. This last transaction
states that the tract is unencumbered except by a camp or cabin built
and occupied by Mistress Mary K. McGhee, (the stepmother of Mrs. Charles
Jones, Sr. and Mrs. Josh Jones, whose husbands were later associated
with the hotel activities. Mrs. McGhee was also a sister of the Jones
girls mother. The Jones men were brothers.)
Kerr built a hotel or some sort of building near the yellow
Sulphur Spring, which was more easily accessible than the other spring.
In 1861, the Yellow Sulphur post office was established, and it is
thought that guests were in the building when it was fired by slaves
later in the same year. It is not known whether the building was a total
loss or not. No information is available about the war years.
The post office was re-established in 1866 and it is thought that
Kerr may have continued some sort of resort accommodations. This idea is
supported by the fact that he made a trust deed to Hiram Walker, stating
in the deed that he did so in order to get time repair his Springs
Property. B.C.C. Kerr sold the tract to the Nathan McCoy in 1885 and in
1886 the Yellow Sulphur post office became Alleghany Springs.
Nathan McCoy was a Civil War veteran from Camden, Indiana, who
came to Blount County and purchased several tracts of mountain land.
With a prodigious amount of hand labor, a flat was hollowed out of the
mountainside to the west of the Yellow Sulphur Spring and a pretentious
three-story, sixty room resort hotel was built at a cost of near
On June 1, 1886, Allegany Springs Hotel was officially opened for
business. As was the custom of that period, a lookout tower and flagpole
topped the building. There were accommodations for three to four hundred
guests. There were gaslights, electric call bells and a bathroom on each
floor. The bathhouse, near the spring afforded hot and cold baths.