Print | Back to e-WV The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Mercer Healing Springs

Mercer Healing Springs, located between Princeton and Athens, was the site of a successful health and recreational resort in the early years of the 20th century. The spring itself, discovered sometime between 1870 and 1880, was reputed to have medicinal properties but was not commercially developed until around 1900 when the Mercer Healing Springs Corporation was formed. The original buildings included a spring house, bathhouse, stables, and cottages for guests.

Sometime prior to 1908, the company was bought out by original member Rufus G. Meador. In 1911, Meador reportedly invested $60,000 in constructing a new four-story 65-room hotel, which featured full-length front and back porches, a ballroom, and special rooms for music, reading, and games. Mercer Healing Springs was popular with area residents for summer activities until 1922, when a disastrous fire completely destroyed the hotel and effectively put an end to the resort as a business concern. Today the property is privately owned.

Written by Michael M. Meador


  1. Cohen, Stan. Historic Springs of the Virginias. Charleston: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1981.

  2. Hotel at Mercer Healing Springs is Burned Down. Princeton Evening Press, 5/12/1922.

  3. Meador, Michael M. Taking the Waters: The Mercer Healing Springs Resort. Goldenseal, (Fall 1982).