The Mt. Holly Springs Park & Resort

—Trolley and Pavilion—
One of the numerous trolley routes that carried people around the county at the turn of the century was the Carlisle & Mt. Holly Railway Company. The “Holly Trolley” as it came to be known was put into service by Patricio Russo and made its first run on May 14, 1901. The Mt. Holly Park & Resort was the destination of many who rode the trolley from surrounding communities. The trolley line prospered for 3 decades while the ever increasing use of automobiles depleted its patrons. The park also drew fewer and fewer folks and faded out of existence in about that same time frame. The line ceased operations on December 1st, 1930. The pavilion pictured here near the entrance to the Park & Resort area, was first used for dances in the summertime and later was enclosed and used for roller skating in the wintertime. This pavilion stood very near to where the current day “Deer Lodge Restaurant” now sits.

 

—Lithia Springs—
Since 1888 Lithia spring water has been a celebrated mineral spring water renowned for its legendary therapeutic properties. During the late 19th century, Doctor’s throughout the United States prescribed Lithia spring water for many types of ailments and many cures were purported. The numerous springs issuing out of the base of the Holly Mountain were thought to be just this kind of spring.
Many folks around here who are in their 50s or older, remember going to ‘Diddy Wises’ for some cool fresh spring water right out of the ground. There was the 4 inch steel pipe jutting out from a small springhouse that never went dry in the summer or froze up in even the coldest winters. It formed a small pond that had some pretty big gold fish in it. And for some reason people would toss pennies into the pond and make a wish. The pond is no longer there and people are forbidden to drink the water, but the springs is still there. Here you see how well the spring was taken care of 100 years ago.

 

 

Right near the entrance to the Mt. Holly Springs Park is a concrete dam. Here is a photo of that dam which is on the Mountain Creek where Route 34 crosses. This dam was constructed about 1850, give or take a decade, for the purpose of supplying water to the “lower mill” which is located on the other side of the creek. The water was diverted to a runway which ran north along Rt.34 in front of what is now “The Deer Lodge Restaurant” (see photo in “Other Post Cards”), then via an aqua-duct across the stream and into a holding pond near the mill. The pillar which supported the aqua-duct can still be seen in the water. This dam deteriorated over time and in the 1970s broke and washed out. Remnants of the dam are still there.

 

 

—The Park Restaurant—
The open and airy Park Restaurant served hot meals and cool beverages during the spring thru fall months.
Not so much during the winter, understandably.

Another view of the Park Restaurant.

 

 

Just beyond the Park Restaurant, the lane takes you upstream to the Parks picnic area.

 

 

The next two photos show the views you would see if you walked back the lane into the park half way, stopped and looked both ways, one to the north and one to the south.

 

 

—Picnic accommodations—
As you enter the picnic area of the park, to the right you would find the food stations for barbecuing and setting out the meals.

 

 

The walk from the Park Restaurant back to the picnic area is about 400 yards. Here you would encounter some of the building used by picnickers.
This view would be looking back at the road you just came in on.

 

 

R & R – not just for grown-ups.
Adjacent to the picnic dining area, was a well equiped play grounds for the children. After all, rest and relaxation was not just for the older crowd.  In addition to this playgrounds,  there was also Cumberland County’s very first Ferris Wheel, a bowling alley, a tennis court and a ball field. For a while there was even a roller coaster here in the park, called a “Kelly Slide”, until a fatal accident on the coaster caused its removal. If you look closely at the photo with the children, on the right side, you can see what appears to be the under-structure of the roller coaster.

Baseball field and clubhouse.
This author does not know much more about the ball field pictured here other than its location and its association with the Park and Resort facilities. It is known that various church groups and organizations such as The Grangers held their picnics at the park and resort. Also, what was known as ‘Harvest Home Week’ had their picnics here. The photo shown here depicts what appears to be a non-professional game of baseball, given that they don’t appear to be in uniforms.

 

 

The next two photos show the path or walk-way that runs from the ball field back to the Holly Lake and beyond. To the left and down the bank runs the Mountain Creek.

 Cutting and loading the ice into the icehouse.

A view from the far side of the ‘Holly Lake’.

This view from the far end of the Holly Lake shows the boathouse and the ice house on opposing sides of this photo post card from about the 1920s. The boathouse on the left served the patrons to the Mt. Holly Springs Park & Resort mostly in the summer months. This was on the “Holly Lake” which was formed by the construction of the “Holly Dam”. This dam diverted the waters from Mountain Creek as well as a fresh water spring that pours from the earth about a half mile south-west of this boathouse. This resulting body of water also produced an abundance of ‘ICE” which was harvested in the winter months and stored in the ‘Ice House” shown on the right until needed by those wanting cool refreshments when it got warmer. The dam was dismantled in the early 70s sometime after Hurricane Agnus blew thru the mid-state. Both structures are gone now and for the most part forgotten, as are most of the buildings in all these photos. Only photos such as these can begin to show us what used to be.