Burner's Resort

In 1850 Noah Burner, a native of Fort Valley, built a resort on this location. Known as either Burner’s Sulphur Springs or Shenandoah Springs, it was known for its hospitable welcomes, blazing fires, and delicious food.

The true attraction though was the local mineral waters. Around that time numerous Virginia businessmen were developing spas and resorts that capitalized on the supposed healing properties of various mineral waters. Noah Burner, who had made a fortune in land speculation, found one of his properties had six different mineral waters. A seventh was located nearby. So he laid pipe to bring that water closer and created a resort that boasted seven different healing springs.

Constructed in a "bowl-like hollow" the resort featured a main hotel, detached cottages, bathhouses, and pavilions. The hotel, a three story affair that was over 12000 square feet, was probably the largest building in the area. All construction was done on site by local carpenters and a large group of slaves.

The resort was extremely popular in the years leading up to the Civil War. Stage coaches filled with visitors arrived daily from Strasburg, Woodstock, or Page County. A Brass Band was maintained that played for departing coaches and in the hotel’s ballroom. Families often came for the entire summer and lived in one of the cottages. In 1851 Burner was charging occupants $6.00 per week, $20.00 per month, and $36.00 for two months. Horses, servants, and slaves could also stay for an extra charge. Often between 300 and 600 guests were served in a season.

A community also developed around the resort. This included a tavern, several stores, the area’s first post office, and a commercial garden. A large staff of slaves also lived in the area to tend to the guests.

Despite his success in attracting guests, Burner was not able to achieve financial success as a hotelier. In 1852 he was forced to sell an interest in the resort for $12,000 to pay off debts. Five years later he was forced into court by creditors. The court ordered him to sell another portion of the property to satisfy this debt. The following year Burner turned the resort over to Solomon McInturff and left for the west.

The resort however continued to thrive until the Civil War when the hotel was closed for the duration of the conflict. After the war it reopened but was unable to regain its former prominence though some families to continue to visit. In the 1880s the hotel was demolished and the resort closed. Today only the materials from the original structures, used to make several buildings and houses on the site, remain.