It seems appropriate, with the official opening of the historically-themed Mills Park Hotel in a few days, to share a piece of promotion from nearly 200 years ago touting a Yellow Springs lodging option.
In an era well before the Internet (or even widespread photography), descriptions in newspaper articles were used to draw customers. Such an article by J. B. Gardiner in the Piqua Gazette issue of August 7, 1823, was originally collected by local historian Don Hutslar (who was indefatigable in searching out old newspapers).
Note some of the same concerns as today: parking (in this case, accommodation for horses) and locally-sourced food.
THE MOST CELEBRATED
Watering Place in the
The SUBSCRIBER has been in the occupancy of this celebrated WATERING PLACE since September last, during which time he has been assiduously engaged in preparing accommodations for visitors during the ensuing summer, in the best manner which his time and means afford. He has now completed all the improvements, which he designs to make at present, and is ready for the reception of company. Although his buildings, pleasure grounds, etc. are not as extensive and well finished as he is in hopes they will be at a future day; and all the expectations of the public may not be fully realized; still, he can with confidence assure visitors that their situation will be rendered at least CONVENIENT AND COMFORTABLE. His new buildings are so constructed, that families, of several in number, can be accommodated entirely to themselves; and there are also a variety of small rooms, very pleasant, for single gentlemen and ladies.
The subscriber has not yet been able to fulfil his intention of preparing tepid baths this season; in another year he expects to furnish them. The cold baths, however, he believes would generally be preferred at this place. He has erected, in a most delightful and sequestered grove of cedars, a noew shower-house, solely for the accommodation of ladies. The old one has been thoroughly repaired, with new acqueducts, for gentlemen.
The pleasure grounds are considerably improved; though susceptible of great additional convenience and decoration.
At the bar of the Yellow Springs Hotel will always be found a choice assortment of liquors, together with all the foreign and native fruits which can be procured in this country.
The table will be carefully supplied with every variety and delicacy which the neighborhood affords. The world does not furnish a more eligible situation for a spring house than the one on these premises and at no place can the valuable articles of MILK and BUTTER to be furnished in a better state than here. It may be satisfactory, under this head, to assure the public that the subscriber always keeps his own cows in pasture fields; and that he will never purchase either butter or beef from any but persons well known to him, and who always pasture their cattle. This assurance is deemed the more necessary in this advertisement, as a disease, vulgarly called the sick stomach, has at times prevailed in this vicinity, supposed to have originated from making use of the milk, butter and meat of cattle which feed in the woods and prairies, where, it is said, there is a certain poisonous vine or weed, which proves fatal to cattle, and even to persons who diet on their produce. The best informed physicians, however, who have long practiced where this disease prevailed, do not attribute it to the cause above stated. Of late years it has almost entirely disappeared from this neighborhood.
The stabling will not be very good. The Subscriber has yet had it in his power to erect new buildings for this purpose. He will, however, promise to furnish excellent hay and grain, good pasturage, and attentive hostlers.
It is not an uncommon enquiry, in this prudent age of retrenchment, “What will be the price?” To this the Subscriber can only reply, that at every watering place, the requisitions of guests are so various, and the necessary attentions to some so much greater than to others, that no general rule can be made applicable to all—The terms must vary according to the necessities of the visitor. Where extra room, servants & other attendance are required, the price will be proportionately enhanced. Also, when separate rooms are demanded, the price will be greater, than where two or more persons occupy the same room. The subscriber trusts that he will never be justly chargeable with extortion. His character as an Inn keeper at the metropolis of this state for many years, will acquit him of suspicion. Nevertheless, he does not solicit the company of those, who would wish to receive his labor and attention for nothing. It is impossible for himself and family to ‘live on art,” as for the week and debilitated to be entirely restored, without resorting to the Yellow Springs.
To travellers, and occasional visitors, the prices will be the same as at the respectable taverns in the neighboring towns.
While the Subscriber pledges to his guests every exertion in his power to render their tarry here pleasant and salutary; he relies with confidence upon the munificence of an enlightened public, to reimburse the heavy expense; which he has with difficulty, incurred, and to encourage him to progress in establishing, in one of the most healthy and delightful parts of the world, a Summer Resort, for the fortunate and unfortunate, the old, the sick and the afflicted, the young, the gay and the fashionable; which, in its infinite natural advantages, is not surpassed, if equaled by Ballston, Saratoga, Bedford, or any other Springs in the United States.
Yellow Springs House, from the 1855 map of Yellow Springs available at the Greene County Archives website, site of the Festival and located roughtly where Bryan Community Center is now.