Monadnock Moment No. 154
Era 6: Development of the Industrial United States -
1870 to 1900
It is said that in 1789, when Unity, New Hampshire was still a part of Cheshire County, one Benjamin Teal discovered the medicinal properties of a series of springs in the eastern section of Unity. Teal suffered from kidney stones and claimed that he was cured after drinking from the East Unity Springs.
News of the springs spread rapidly and many people traveled there to partake of the water. The farmer who owned the land became so annoyed by the endless stream of visitors that he offered the property for sale. The springs were sold and opened to the public. By the 1870s a large resort hotel had been built at the site. The operation was known as Unitoga Springs.
By the 1880s the Unitoga House was a prosperous 60 room hotel operated by Mr. A. P. Wellcome, an appropriate name for a hotel proprietor. Streams of summer visitors left the heat of the city to spend time in the cool woods of Unity. The Unitoga House offered hiking, trout fishing, bowling, billiards, and dancing in the pavilion. In addition, Mr. Wellcome's advertising included numerous testimonials concerning the healing power of the waters. Visitors were reportedly cured of liver and kidney disease, chronic skin ailments, asthma, bronchitis, and even poison ivy.
The rise of Lake Sunapee as a resort area and reported mismanagement of the springs caused a decline in business by the late 1880s. In 1892 the hotel burned to the ground. Today there is little evidence of the famous resort which prospered in East Unity a century ago.
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