Rotting away on a Florida lot are the remains of what was supposed to be a luxury hotel. However now it is simply a crumbling sprawl of haunting debris.
The local story about the Hampton Springs Hotel starts with an early Taylor County resident, Joe Hamilton, who was directed to a local spring by Indians. When the sulphur-rich spring water eased the symptoms of his wife’s rheumatism, he purchased a government grant to the area. A large plot of land nearby was purchased in 1879 by Benjamin W. and Joseph L. Hampton, and they formed the Hampton Springs Hotel and Mineral Company. The first part of the hotel, a two-story structure with about 70 rooms, was completed in 1908. It was expanded in 1915 after businessman J.W. Oglesby joined the Hamptons in the business.
The sulphur springs and baths at the resort became known for their healing powers. The luxury hotel resort eventually included elaborate fountains and gardens, a covered pool, golf and tennis courts, stables, a casino, ballroom, outdoor dance pavilion, and railroad depot. The hotel also had a bottling plant, which bottled and shipped water from the springs to customers around the nation, and a private hunting and fishing lodge.
The hotel burned down in 1954 and the area was largely abandoned. Ruins of the hotel, including the pool into which spring water still flows, are still visible at the site. There are a few picnic tables and some nature trails for visitors to enjoy while exploring the area.
Know Before You Go
Fom Hwy 98 South, turn west on CR356, which is about four miles from the center of town. The CR356 turn is just after Revelles Seafoods and if you pass Rocky's Convenience Store, you went too far!
Google map location is https://goo.gl/maps/xFQPf25zbotfQW4q7