Developed in the early 19th century, Yellow Sulphur Springs in Montgomery County afforded its patrons the usual middle-class leisure-time and therapeutic pursuits of the mid-Victorian-era mountain resorts. Prior to the Civil War, the spa was enjoyed by individuals who soon were to make history: Edmund Ruffin, Jubal Early, and P. G. T. Beauregard. Despite the loss of a later main hotel building and several cottages, the original early-19th-century hotel structure with its mid-19th-century galleried façade survives. Also remaining amid a grove of venerable oaks are three cottage rows and an early bowling alley, making the group one of the state’s most complete early spa complexes. A focal point of Yellow Sulphur Springs is the polygonal gazebo sheltering the spring. Most of the cottages are now rented as apartments. The hotel building, long in a neglected state, was restored in the 1990s.
Between 1926 and 1929, an African American company operated the hot springs as a resort during the era of segregation. The springs property is eligible at the state level, as it served as a vacation destination for African Americans across the state and was possibly the largest African American-owned resort in the nation at the time. The extant buildings of the era at the springs stand as examples of resort accommodations that African Americans in Virginia built for themselves during the time of Jim Crow. Additional documentation submitted in 2012 adds Criterion A and Ethnic Heritage (African American) to the property’s identified areas of significance. At the time the property was listed in the National Register in 1979, the period of significance was listed as 1800-1899 and 1900-. This additional documentation establishes that the period of significance extends through at least 1929.
[NRHP Accepted: 1/2/2013]
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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark