White Cliff Mineral Springs Hotel
White Cliff Springs Hotel

The Athens Post, Athens, Tenn., July 17, 1874

MADISONVILLE, TENN, July 7th, 1874


I presume you have been at White Cliff Springs. If so, I think you will hardly wonder at any one wishing to tell your readers what a delightful place it is. I am inclined to believe that our people are not fully aware of the attractions as a summer resort, or we would not hear of any one searching for rest and recreation elsewhere. A few days ago I went up from Jalapa, four miles distant, in company with some friends to spend the day on the mountain. We set out early, while the dew was still heavy upon the grass, and the sun scarcely above the grand old Unokoi. Only stopping at the Spring to taste of its invigorating waters, and rest our horses a little after the tiresome ascent, we rode out to Black Cliff -- a great pile of rocks skirting the eastern declivity. This cliff affords, perhaps, the most extensive view to be obtained from any point in East Tennessee, combining the bold, rugged mountains towards North Carolina, with the varied landscapes of the valley of the Tennessee, with its numerous streams, rich forests, and fertile homesteads. Distance may "lend enchantment to the view," but, as seen from this elevation, one could scarcely imagine a more lovely country. We then rode perhaps three-fourths of a mile in an opposite direction to White Cliff, which commands a view to the South. Here the scene is bounded by the Tellico and Unokoi mountains, some twenty miles away, the intervening distance being a succession of smaller ridges and table lands, bearing an almost unbroken mass of timber. The cliff is a pile of barren, rugged rocks descending abruptly some hundred feet, from whence the mountain makes a more gradual slope to its base. From here we returned to the Springs, and spent the heat of the day in the wide halls and on the broad piazzas of the new hotel in pleasant converse with the family of the Proprietor, Mr. J. H. Magill, and the visitors who have already arrived. The hotel, though not quite completed, is ready for the occupation of a number of guests, and is a commodious and airy building, with parlors, verandas, ball-rooms, &c., which give hints of much enjoyment to the pleasure-seeker. Visitors were arriving and probably ere this there is a lively crowd there.

Situated almost on the summit of Chilhowee mountain 1200 feet above the valley below, White Cliff presents natural advantages superior to any summer resort in East Tennessee. It is never too hot for comfort, flies are almost unknown, and no dews encumber the evening breezes. Persons suffering from affections of the throat and lungs must find a sojourn here very beneficial. Aside from the mineral waters of the various springs, the atmosphere is so light and pure, and the temperature so equal, one seems to be endued with new life and spirits. As is usual among the mountains, the mornings and evenings are delightfully cool, but there are no mid-day heats to induce a feeling of lassitude, or sudden changes of temperature, to cause inconvenience from colds. The scenery from the piazza overlooking the Conasauga valley is magnificent. In the early morning it is "like the vision of some fairy tale."-- The top of the mountain is always in the clear sunlight, while the country around is frequently enveloped in mist -- appearing like the waving billows of the ocean, with the higher mountain peaks rising as islands from their midst, and the sunbeams, like a huge golden fan, illuminating their crests. As the mist rolls away, the course of each is clearly defined by the lingering clouds overhanging them. By moonlight the scene is still more beautiful, as every object beneath seems magnified by the silvery beams, and also removed further away, so that one might readily imagine himself in some enchanted castle far above the clouds.

In the evening we again rode out along the almost level summit of the mountain to North Point, another rugged cliff, looking towards the North and West. This commands a view entirely different from those we visited in the morning -- presenting a succession of low heavily-timbered hills, alternating with level fertile valleys, till the vision is bounded by the dim undulations of the distant Cumberland mountains.

I wish every one could visit White Cliff Springs -- the sick and weary to be refreshed by the good water and bracing air -- the lover of nature to treasure up a memory-picture of the beautiful scenery -- and the young and lively to mingle with pleasant society, which renders a sojourn here so agreeable.

Yours resp'y,

A. E. L.

The Sweetwater Enterprise advertisements


Advertisements like these appeared not only in Tennessee newspapers but across the eastern United States.

The Memphis Daily Appeal advertisement published June 27, 1874


White Cliff Springs Hotel

The Athens Post, Athens, Tenn., March 7, 1872


We have information from the proper authorities that the hotel at this favorite watering place is being greatly enlarged and otherwise improved, so much so that visitors during the coming season will be more comfortably situated than ever before. The dining room which was so small last season will be sufficiently enlarged so as to seat seven hundred people. The hotel will be sufficiently enlarged to accommodate the same number.

Mr. Peck, the excellent proprietor will use every exertion to make his guests feel at home in every department of his house. We look for a very large crowd when the season opens at the Springs, as all who know Mr. Peck are confident that he will give them a warm reception, and will not leave anything undone that will tend to make them comfortable and happy while they remain with him.

It is useless for us to speak of the pleasure, and the beautiful scenes at this watering place to those who have visited there, but to persons who have never been there we speak. One visit will convince you that it is the place for those seeking health and pleasure. No watering place in this country affords finer scenery. No Springs possess more effectual curative properties than those at White Cliff. And last but not least, the hotel is unsurpassed. The tables are filled with the very best of everything that the country affords, and it is fixed up in a manner to suit the tastes of all. We speak from our own personal knowledge, and what we say can be proven, by those who were at the hotel last season.

We could say more on this subject but deem it unnecessary at present. At the proper time we shall endeavor to give the advantages, more fully, that White Cliff Springs has over all others in East Tennessee.

Many renovations were still underway at White Cliff Hotel according to this interesting article published in the Knoxville Weekly Chronicle on April 1, 1874.

The Athens Post announcement August 3, 1871

NOTE: Research herein found was done by Sandra N. Ratledge for this website only. Primary sources like these are the most accurate, reliable, and interesting historical accounts available. Such sources include deeds, advertisements, letters, and articles penned by White Cliff Hotel guests and visitors with real-life, first-hand experiences. Some articles were transcribed, edited, and typed into html by Sandra N. Ratledge for this website only.

This site is dedicated to the memory of my parents, Tommy and Beulah (Cline) Nipper.

Public Domain, but please include this site in your sources Do not print in publications or for displays of any kind.

Sandra Ratledge

All you kinfolks, put some mail in that old box!