Recently, my husband treated me to a weekend at The Homestead 1766 resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. While there, we both discovered the mineral spring waters, minutes from the resort, that Thomas Jefferson used as therapy for his rheumatoid arthritis. While soaking in the legendary mineral spring waters, we could understand why Jefferson pronounced them to be "the very best". There, we experienced complete relaxation of mind and body as we restored our spirit in the natural mineral spring waters of the legendary Jefferson Pools.
The magnificent, naturally warm mineral springs are located just five miles down the road (Rt. 220/Sam Snead Highway) from The Homestead 1766 resort, now owned and operated by The Omni Hotels. The Pools were originally developed as a spa resort in the mid 1750's. On June 1, 1761, an octagonal wooden building was opened to the public. To my surprise, the experience intentionally remains very much as it was back then. When you first see it, the first thought that comes to mind is, "Is this old building actually the spa?" Looking beyond the 18th century appearance, and after "taking the waters" inside, its authenticity was actually very charming. I couldn't help but imagine sitting across from Thomas Jefferson himself.
Once opened, Warm Springs expanded rapidly as a spa resort. Hotels, dining rooms and kitchens, taverns, livery stables and blacksmith shops, as well as a church, laundry and related buildings were built to accommodate the growing number of guests. On August 13, 1818, at the age 75, Thomas Jefferson was one of those travelers, who arrived at The Homestead to "take the waters" for his rheumatism. 196 years later, to the day, my husband and I would be visiting the same pool that my favorite founding father visited. You cannot imagine how I felt once realizing the coincidence in dates! Jefferson stayed at The Homestead for over three weeks, "taking the waters" down the road several times each day. Each day, my husband and I enjoyed breakfast and dinner in The Homestead's Jefferson Grill, as well as visited the legendary Jefferson Pools. Our trip will be one of my fondest birthday memories!
The historic natural spring pools are named in honor of their most illustrious patron...they are The Homestead's Jefferson Pools! If you would like to experience The Homestead 1766 resort for yourself, call 1-800-838-1766 for reservations, or visit www.theHomestead.com.