Thursday, August 4, 2011

Buffalo Springs Lithia Water - The Water That Cures Everything

 On our way home from Clarksville, Virginia on Sunday, Stump decided to take me to a historic site just off of Highway 58. Buffalo Springs is where the famous Buffalo Lithia Water was found, bottled and distributed. 

 1910 Ad in a newspaper. Picture from HERE
1888 Advertisement from HERE

A group of explorers led by William Byrd II in 1798 are believed to have been the discoverers of the springs. Byrd had written in a book that the Buffalo Springs water was "what Adam drank in Paradise... by the help of which we perceived our appetites to mend, our slumbers to sweeten, the stream of life to run cool and peaceably, in out veins, and if ever we dreamt of women, they were kind".

 Gazebo over Spring 2

A tavern was established in 1817 and by 1839, Buffalo Springs had expanded into a small resort. The perceived medical benefits of the spring water were that it was "good for the liver, stomach, skin, and "female complaints". This continued throughout the Civil War, when Buffalo Springs continued to draw people looking for the medical benefits.

 The lithium in the water is what made Buffalo Springs famous. It was believed that lithium dissolved uric acid which was responsible for gout, dyspepsia, rheumatism, eczema, diabetes, Bright's disease, gallstones, fevers, and other things. By 1895, the water, now known as Buffalo Lithium Water was being advertised and distributed in thousands of magazines, pharmacies and grocery stores. 

With all the sales from this medicinal water, the resort was expanded to include a bowling alley, horseback riding, a tennis court, nature walks, live music and dancing, and boat rides on the pond.
  Water spout tapped into Buffalo Springs Spring 2

 It was discovered that the lithium in the Buffalo Springs water was so little, that one would have to drink gallons and gallons every day to reap any benefit of the water. In 1906, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act. This put an end to the selling of the water with any claims of medicinal advantages.

The resort still remained popular until 1949, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bought the land for the John H. Kerr Reservoir. Most of the buildings were taken away, but what does remain is a renovated gazebo and one small tap that still runs freely.

 I have no idea what this build inside the gazebo is. Any guesses?

  Famous Buffalo Springs water spout running freely 24/7

 Stump fills his water bottle from the spring

Stump and I both drank from the spring while we were there. The water was surprisingly very very cold in the summer heat. It had a mineral taste to it as well, but was really good.

People still come to the spring to fill containers of water. While we were there, a family pulled in and filled several containers before leaving.

There is such a history in this area that I will likely never see all that southern Virginia has to offer. Some, like Buffalo Springs, I wasn't even aware of. If any of you know of any cool little places on the side of the road in the area, please leave a comment. These little excursions are educational, free, and close to home. I have posted a couple of these in the past, and will continue to post them as I find these little gems.

I hope you enjoyed.


  1. OMG, not only did I enjoy this post, but I found it utterly fascinating!

    I LOVE to read stuff like this because I truly believe it. I think there are many things within nature that have healing abilities. Things that are much more natural and probably a hell of a lot more effective than drugs.

    "Stump and I both drank from the spring while we were there. The water was surprisingly very very cold in the summer heat. It had a mineral taste to it as well, but was really good."

    Yup...I would have done the same thing! I use to go to a place in Florida that had springs running through it. The water was ice cold and made your skin feel like silk after swimming in it.

    Wonderful photographs, girl! Thoroughly enjoyed this post! Have a supa' day!


  2. Hello, Ron!

    We have so many of these tiny treasures in the area. We live in a very lightly populated city, surrounded by even less population in the surrounding area, but this place is rich in history. Not the same level of history as your home has, but the smaller, less important details that gave America her accessories.

    Hope you have a great day, See you on your blog!


  3. I have one of the aqua water bottles with the label and all in tact. Plan on going there in near future!

  4. Yes the water is good and it is off Hwy 58 between Clarksville and south boston va. across from buffalo church.