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Lifestyles -

February 22, 2014

Focus on health helps restore Sharon Springs

Indomitable spirits are reviving the resort culture of Sharon Springs, in Schoharie County. Long known for its magnesium water, iron-rich water, sulfur water and bluestone water for healing the eyes, Sharon Springs is taking on a 21st century approach aimed at succoring well-being and relaxation.

In and around the village, vestiges of the old landscape — where magnificent large hotels are now defunct — can still be seen. But, a closer look reveals a pleasing transformation.

It has been said that the spa heyday began in year 1825, when David Eldredge established a boarding house near the mineral springs, sparking an interest in the area. More boarding houses and large hotels were built. The elite swarmed to the spas for pampering.

By the second half of the 19th century, Sharon Springs was home to more than 60 hotels and rooming houses. More than 10,000 visitors would flock to the village each summer to relax in a bathhouse, receive a mud bath, or take a hike through the woods.

A series of events culminated in plummeting business in Sharon Springs in the 20th century. With the advent of the automobile, visitors drove elsewhere to new resorts. Scientific discoveries revealed improved treatments. Society was taking on the habit of eating processed food and going to the local gym to work off the calories — too busy to drive to Sharon Springs.

The bustling village de-bustled.

But again, a series of events culminated and has caused a return of businesses to Sharon Springs. The results of scarfing down fast food and sitting too much in front of the TV went against the grain of well-being. The minds of society started waking up to the fact we need to get out in the great outdoors. We need to know where our food comes from. We need to get to know one another and appreciate our talents.

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