The Mt. Holly Springs Park & Resort – 1901 to 1930

—Park Layout—

This first image is of a professionally hand drawn but questionably detailed map created by The Sanborn Fire Insurance Company in 1916. I say “questionably” because it does not show the trolley tracks which in 1916 would have extended all the way to in front of the pavilion, (Dance Hall). It does however, very nicely shows how the park was laid out.

—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 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 at least 1888 Lithia Spring Water has been a celebrated mineral water renowned for its legendary therapeutic properties. During the late 19th century, doctors throughout the United States prescribed Lithia Spring Water for all 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 who are in their 50s or older, remember going to ‘Diddy Wises’ for some cool fresh spring water right out of the ground. Often there would be a line of cars waiting to fill their jug. 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 always had some nice sized gold fish in it. And for some reason people would toss pennies and nickels 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. In this postcard photo you see how well the spring was taken care of during the parks heyday. This spring was positioned just to the right of, or before the pavilion.

 

—The Park Restaurant—

Just beyond the park pavilion was the park restaurant. This open and airy restaurant served hot meals and cool beverages during the spring thru fall months.  Not so much during the winter, understandably.

 

Here is another view of the Park Restaurant.

 

Just beyond the Park Restaurant, the lane takes you deeper into the parks picnic area………..

 

………..past the food preparation areas………..

 

………..to the picnic and playground area………..

 

After a hearty picnic lunch, if you are the active sort, its off to the field to play some baseball………..

 

If you do not gravitate to that sort of relaxation, perhaps a boat ride, some fishing or even a ride on the roller coaster.

 

Or if you just wanted a relaxing walk, you could wonder back to the Holly Lake or hike to the top of the mountain to the lookout station with the beautiful view of the valley. Or, you could just sit and enjoy.

 The End