Bedford Alum Springs Hotel
Aerial photo from 1956. From Friends of New London Library.
Engraving. From the Friends of New London Library.
Advertisement for Bedford Springs, 1885. From Jones Memorial Library, Lynchburg, Virginia.
Front view of the exterior of the Bedford Alum Springs Hotel (Fall 2018)
Interior of the front room (Fall 2018)
Main staircase of the Bedford Alum Springs Hotel (Fall 2018)
View of the Bedford Alum Springs Hotel approaching from the main walkway (Fall 2018)
Front view of the Bedford Alum Springs Hotel (Fall 2018)
Backstory and Context
Another prominent local figure Samuel Miller, eventually acquired this property from his mother in 1817. Miller and his mother also operated the Roland Academy school for girls out of the Mead's Tavern property down the road. A Ralph Smith owned the property briefly and then Peregrine Echols purchased the plot of land. Echols operated a tavern on the property. He was also the first to utilize the nearby natural springs as an attraction for guests. Echols bottled and sold the spring water and began to use his tavern as a place of lodging, referring to the building as the Bedford Alum Springs Hotel.
The building which stands today is not the original tavern. The original property was destroyed in a fire in 1871. John Maben, who purchased the property in 1877 after this fire, built a new hotel on the same site. This new hotel also burned to the ground in 1887, making the building which stands today the third version of the hotel constructed on the property.
The Bedford Alum Springs Hotel was used as a private residence for about seventy years. In the summer of 2018 Liberty University purchased the hotel and the property. The school plans to utilize the site as an opportunity for hands-on learning and to conduct historical investigation and restoration at the site.
Cohen, Stan. Historic Springs of the Virginias: A Pictorial History. Missoula, MT. Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1981.
Moorman, John Jennings (1854). The Virginia springs: comprising an account of all the principal mineral springs of Virginia, with remarks on the nature and medical applicability of each. The Library of Congress. Richmond, Va., J. W. Randolph.
Read, Daisy I. New London Today and Yesterday. Lynchburg, VA. J.P. Bell Company, 1950.Sons, P. Echols & (1867). The Bedford Alum and Iodine Springs, Near New London, Bedford County, Virginia. King & Baird.
Walton, George E. The Mineral Springs of the United States and Canada, With Analyses and Notes on the Prominent Spas of Europe, and a List of Sea-Side Resorts. New York, NY. D. Appleton and Company, 1883.