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 Fern Springs

The following article was transcribed and donated by Fran Warren

Van Buren Press
Crawford County, Arkansas
June 4, 1881
These springs derive their name from the great quantity of ferns growing
around them. They are situated in Franklin County between the waters of Mill
Creek and Hurricane Fork of Mulberry, 8 miles north of Pleasant Hill and 10
miles north of Mulberry Depot on the railroad, and 18 miles northeast of Van
These springs have been know for many years by hunters and stock raisers.
Occasionally a family have spent the summer there, and invariably benefited.
The land around these springs is now owned by Mark H WAGONER, of Pleasant
Hill. He has made these springs a summer resort for himself and family, for
the past two years and has there a comfortable dwelling, intending this
summer to make additional improvements for the benefit of person wishing to
make the place a resort. Other families have built homes the last summer.
Mr. WAGONER is anxious that others should go there and build houses, and
will charge nothing for the land to build on. The springs run out of the
bank of a small ravine on the side of a hill. The surroundings are open
woods in every direction, with ground sloping to the south. There is a
circulation of air from every direction. The land in this vicinity is broken
and not well adapted for cultivation, although around the springs small
patches can be cultivated in gardens.
About half a mile north of the springs is a gulf or deep hollow that is
called the Devil's Mountain or Devil's Home. No person has seen the old coon
lately, and but few persons desire to go into his premises. The gulf is
nearly round. On the top it is about 400 yards in diameter; 300 or 400 feet
deep, the sides, in many places are perpendicular. There is a small outlet
on the west side drainage goes into Mill Creek. The place is much resorted
by ravens, buzzards, hawks, cranes, and other birds, during hatching time.
Five miles east of the springs are the noted White Mountains, where hunters
and others, for curiosity and past time, frequently resort. From the
mountain looking south, the serpentine course of the Arkansas River can be
seen; and further south, the range of mountains, running west, can be seen
50 miles.
The main spring at this place is clear, pure, cold water, running out of
pure white sand. Fifty yards above it is a chaybeate spring, and other
springs around. Two and a half miles northeast is a very fine chalybeate
spring, on what is known as Irish John's place.
The land, in this vicinity is nearly all vacant and is either government or
railroad land, and can be homesteaded at $1.25 per acre, and the railroad
land can be bought at the lowest price. Here there is a good summer range
for stock. The timber in this vicinity is White Post and Black Oak, with
some Pine. There is not much undergrowth and there are no mosquitos; no
miasmatic influences to produce sickness. These springs can be made one of
the most desirable resorts for summer that can be found in any place in the
valley of the Arkansas River. Good wagon roads can be made in any direction
from the springs. There are no high mountains to climb or go down. There is
now, a good road from Pleasant Hill, and persons going to the springs can go
by rail to Mulberry Depot, and from there, conveyance can be had to the
springs. An Old Settler.

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