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Bladon Springs State Park

Bladon Springs State Park, Alabama3921 Bladon Rd.
Bladon Springs, AL 36919
251-754-9207
251-754-9207 (fax)

Bladon Springs State Park is a 357-acre state park in Choctaw County, Alabama, centered around four mineral springs. Park facilities include campsites, shelters, tables, and grills.

History

Bladon Springs was named for the original patentee of the property, John Bladon. James Conner opened the property to the public as a spa in 1838 after the mineral springs' "curative" properties began to become well known in the area. The springs were analyzed by a state geologist in 1845 and found to contain sulfur, iron, magnesium, and calcium. By this time the grounds contained many small cottages, with a capacity for 100 guests.

In 1846 a grand Greek Revival style hotel with a two-story veranda across the full length of the front was constructed as the center piece of the spa. The hotel's two main floors were supported by a full raised brick basement level. The hotel had a capacity for 200 guests. It was one of the largest wooden hotels ever built in Alabama. 

The hotel featured such amenities as a large ballroom, a bowling alley, a billiard room, a hotel bar in the basement level, and even a skating rink. Surrounding the hotel was a latticed pavilion over the principle spring, bath houses, a large latticed pergola, and croquet grounds. The springs, along with the hotel and spa, earned Bladon Springs the nickname "Saratoga of the South."

In time a small town, also named Bladon Springs, developed around the hotel and spa. It featured many large homes built as summer residences by people from other parts of the state and elsewhere. The hotel continued to operate, though limited in scope, during the American Civil War. By 1870 it was once again in full operation. 

After the turn of the century, when mineral springs began to diminish in popularity, the hotel and spa fell on hard times and eventually closed. The empty hotel was used as sleeping quarters for logging crews and others until 1934 when the state purchased the property. The state then converted the hotel into apartments for use by state employees, until the hotel burned down in 1938. 

All of the cottages were eventually demolished or moved. The pavilion over the main spring was the only structure remaining by 1960. Today the only reminder of the site's history is the springs themselves.

Park Amenities...

  • Camping Facilities
  • Picnic Area
  • Playground
  • Operating Hours 7 a.m. until sundown

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