Welcome to
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 it’s 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 the Smokies.

                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.

 Alleghany Springs Motel was the closest to the Little Tennessee River and was perhaps the most elegantly furnished. In 1837, a tract of land was granted to William Gault and Jabel Park, in the 17th district of Blount County extending along the Chilhowee Mountain. There were efforts made to build a road along the top of the mountain to Montvale, which failed. The land passed through several hands, before it was bought by Jesse Kerr, Jr. in 1859.

<<< click for enlargement

                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 $85,000.00.

                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.

Page 02