History of Hermitage Springs Community
Hermitage Springs Church of Christ*
Hermitage Springs was first called Trace because it was located on Big Trace Creek Valley. There were only a few scattered residences here and a little log church house which was located on the present Church of Christ grounds.
Soon after 1885 the name was changed to Sugar Orchard because this Valley was covered with sugar maple trees and a sugar camp was established here. This camp was owned and operated by Carroll Purcell, one of the residences of this valley. It consisted of a shed with wood, fire furnace, and big kettles.
These sugar maples were topped for sap which was caught in buckets.
It was boiled down into syrup or sugar for the residence here or sold to peddlers who hauled it into Nashville in covered wagons. These trees were later killed by insects which got in the saw dust from the Turner Factory.
Around 1880 to 1900 the community began to grow. Among the families first living there were the Purcells, Pedigo, York, Biles, Greene, Wood, Long, Davis, Browning, Bean, and Capshaw.
About 1885 Camelia Griffeth taught a subscription school in the little log church house called Trace.
This church was so small, as the community was growing, that during a weeks meeting a tent was erected and the people came in covered wagons for miles around here for the meeting in tents.
A little log school house was built above Miss Vera Yonks, which is still standing today. (Jim Wood taught here.)
Later Yonk school was built below Miss Yorks on the Mt. Vernon Road leaving out of Hermitage Springs.
The Bean School house was on the Hermitage Springs and Gamaliel Road near Peyton Davis residence. Both of the above schools burned.
Popular Bluff School was on the North boundary of the W.J. Capshaw farm near the mouth of Little Trace Creek was built, which became the most outstanding school ever here. Large number of the students who attended here went on to higher institutions and made teachers.
Among those who taught in the Popular Bluff School were Iva Crabtree, Annie Comer, Thomas Bean, Jessie Wood, Stella Birdwell, Eliza Birdwell, and Mattie Capshaw.
A little one room frame school building was erected across from Lynn Spivey's, and the name of the community was changed to Spivey about
1889, because of Ham Spivey had put in a post office about this time.
This school was a two teacher school. Among those who taught here were Jessie Wood, Hampton Maxey, Harley Long, Stella Birdwell, and Oscar Carnaban.
Around 1911 another two story framed building was put on the West side of the campus and the one story building was moved up to it and used for a class room.
In 1927-1928 a new brick school was built and a four year high school was organized along with the grade school.
Since this community had all the qualifications for a Summer Resort, sulphur wells were put into operation about 1900, and hotels began to spring up.
Some of the first hotels were the Long Hotel, near the Church of Christ. The Central Hotel near Bert Davis residence. Dr. Flipping, a retired physician, later took over the Long Hotel. This became a popular summer resort and people came from Nashville, Louisville, and other places to drink sulphur waters.
A man by the name of Yeamon came up from Nashville about 1920 to promote the hotel business and he was instrumental in getting the-name of this community changed to Hermitage Springs.
Later around 1885, the present Church of Christ was erected , which was a one room building. Around 1952 this church remodeled, bricked, and four classrooms and a baptistry was added. In 1962, around 200 attended church here in Hermitage Springs.
In 2010, Hermitage Springs Church of Christ has a membership over 170 with 150 plus people attending every week.
*Compiled by Lons W. Capshaw, 1964 (last paragraph update 2010)
For a complete history and photos, please visit the Hermitage Springs Church of Christ library.