Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

003-0007 Sweet Chalybeate Springs

Sweet Chalybeate Springs
Photo credit: David Edwards/DHR, ca 1978

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 10/16/1973

NRHP Listing Date 01/21/1974

NRHP Reference Number 74002103

The Sweet Chalybeate Springs spa complex in Alleghany County is a relic of the 19th-century days when the fashionable world of the North and South came to the mineral springs of western Virginia to “take the waters and play the marriage market.” Known since the 18th century, Sweet Chalybeate was developed in 1836 into a commercial resort which lasted until 1918. Although some of the buildings are neglected and deteriorating, the relatively complete collection of mid- and late-19th-century pavilions and cottages attests to the popularity of the resort and provides a poignant picture of a Virginia spa. The springs themselves, claimed to contain the strongest carbonated mineral waters in the nation, still flow freely from the limestone bluff. Chalybeate is a type of mineral water impregnated with salts of iron.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: July 22, 2021