xt7tdz02zs75 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7tdz02zs75/data/mets.xml Peter, Robert, 1805-1894. 1881  books b92-109-27905203 English Peter G. Thomson, : Cincinnati : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Olympian Springs (Ky.) Mineral waters Kentucky. Olympian Springs, Kentucky, Harrison Gill, proprietor  : a sketch of this famous summer resort, together with analyses of and chemical report on its celebrated medical waters / by Robert Peter. text Olympian Springs, Kentucky, Harrison Gill, proprietor  : a sketch of this famous summer resort, together with analyses of and chemical report on its celebrated medical waters / by Robert Peter. 1881 2002 true xt7tdz02zs75 section xt7tdz02zs75 







OLYMPIAN SPRINGS



           KENTUCKY.



      HARRISON GILL, PROPRIETOR.





          A SKETCH OF THIS FAMOUS



SU M MERI E S        M 3rT


TOGETHER WITH ANALYSES OF, AND CHEMICAL REPORT ON, ITS CELE-
    BRATED MEDICAL WATERS, BY PROF. ROBERT PETER, OF
         THE KENTUCKY GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.




              1881.






              CINCINNATI:
           PETER G. THOMSON, PUBLISHER,
                  i88r.



       1. --------          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
---- --- I    I P --- - - - - - - - - 1-



I- - - - - - - - - -



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OLYMPIAN SPRINGS


            KENTUCKY.


      HARRISON GILL, PROPRIETOR.




          A SKETCH OF THIS FAMOUS


SI CM   M     E    oE      SOIRTV,


TOGETHER WITH ANALYSES OF, AND CHEMICAL REPORT ON, ITS CELE-
    BRATED MEDICAL WATERS, BY PROF. ROBERT PETER, OF
         THE KENTUCKY GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.



               1881.



    CINCINNATI:
P'ETERL G. THOMSON, PUBLISHER,
       i88r.


 
This page in the original text is blank.

 


        OLYMPIAN SPRINGS.



   The Olympian Springs are situated in Bath county,
Kentucky, 2'2 miles from Olympian Springs Station, on
the Lexington and Big Sandy Railroad, and I5 miles from
Mt. Sterling. There was a settlement at the Springs over
ioo years ago. The original patent for the land, which is
now in possession of the present proprietor, was issued to
one Jacob Myers, dated July 7th, I789, and signed by
Beverly Randolph, Governor of the Commonwealth of
Virginia, describing by metes and bounds this tract of
land (then) in the county of Fayette and State of Virginia,
and as a further description, adding the following words:
"including a large mud-lick, with log-cabin and improve-
ments in the mountains."
   The location of the improvements remain the same.
The present name was given the Springs, as also to Mt.
Olympus, a lovely mountain near the Springs, by Henry
Clay, who formerly owned the property, and in after years
made it his favorite summer resort.
   Smucker, in his " Life and Times of Henry Clay,"
page 27, says:  "In i803, while he was absent at the
Olympian Springs, he was nominated and elected a mem-
ber of the General Assembly of his adopted State." This
was his first public promotion, and the actual beginning
of his illustrious career. Then, from the same authority,
page 70, we find that: "During the early part of I823,


 
                          [ 4 ]

 he became so much reduced that his life was despaired
 of, and he himself anticipated death.  He visited the
 Olympian Springs, in Kentucky, etc." In a letter written
 by Mr. Clay to the present proprietor, dated Ashland,
 July 7th, i85i, but a few months prior to his death, he
 says: " I should be most delighted to be able to   
 again resort to a watering place at which I have passed
 many happy days, but I have been so much from home
 during the last eighteen months, that I am reluctant to
 leave it again."
    Barracks were built here in i8I2 by the U. S. Govern-
ment, and it was used as a recruiting rendezvous and
drilling-station, that point being selected more particularly
on account of its healthfulness. Part of these buildings
are still standing in a good state of preservation.
   At the beginning of the late war, it was made a mili-
tary post by the United States forces, and was considered
a strategic point by both sides until its conclusion. The
present proprietor came into possession in i842, and has
owned and controlled it since that time. He has added
needful improvements, and the springs are now in good
condition for the entertainment of visitors.  He knows
how to " keep hotel," and nothing is left undone that
would add to the pleasure of his guests. The culinary
department is always kept up to a high standard, and pre-
pared to suit the taste of the most exacting epicure.
   The gorgeous mountain scenery, the magnificent
drives, the lovely sylvan walks, where, in days agone,
" the oft-told tale " has been whispered to willing ears by
many a love-sick swain, the innocent games, the social,
genial society for which the place has ever been noted,


 
[ 5 ]



all tend to make a summer visit to the Springs a most
pleasurable experience; and beside all this, those exhili-
rating, health-giving waters that cause even the " well " to
feel " better," render it the supreme summer resort of the
country.
    Conveyances meet all trains at Olympian Springs
Station, and convey passengers to the Springs.
   The following analysis of, and comments on, the
mineral waters at the Springs, is taken from Geological
Survey of Kentucky, part VII, vol. V, second series:
        "Mineral Waters, etc., of the Olympian Springs.
    "The principal waters of these celebrated springs were
qualitatively examined by the writer about the year I848-9,
and the results were published in volume III of the first
series of Reports of the Geological Survey of Kentucky,
pages 208-2i0. About ten years thereafter (in i858-9)
more extended quantitative analyses were made by him
of samples of these waters, sent to his laboratory in bottles
by Mr. H. Gill, the proprietor. As such analyses of the
waters forwarded in bottles could not include the gases,
and, moreover, were liable to accidental errors, the writer
visited these springs in August last (0877), accompanied
by his son Alfred M. Peter, in order to quantitatively
estimate the gases in the recent waters ; to evaporate a
sufficient quantity on the spot to enable him to estimate
their minuter saline ingredients, and to collect with care,
in very clean glass-stoppered bottles, enough of the waters
of the several springs for complete quantitative analyses
in his laboratory in Lexington.
   " The hydrogen sulphide was estimated in the recent
waters at the springs, by the volumetric process, with the


 


[ 6 ]



use of a decinormal iodine solution, c., and the carbonic
acid, thrown down in a measured quantity of the waters,
by an ammoniacal solution of barium chloride, was separ-
ated and weighed at the laboratory.
         "The Sulphur Waters of the Olympian Springs.
"No. i,984-' SALT SULPHUR WATER.' Well at the saloon, near
    the main house or hotel.  The water is raised by a pump in the
    well, which is eight to ten feet deep. The spring is said to yield
    about two hundred and seventy gallons per hour. The temperature
    of the water was found to be 560 F., when that of the atmosphere
    was 750 F. - The water forms a slightly yellowish or ochreous incrus-
    tation on the glass tumblers used at the well. It exhibits a slightly
    alkaline reaction.
"No. 1,985-' BLACK SULPHUR WATER.' From an open well,
    about a quarter of a mile, nearly south of the main house, in the bot-
    tom ground, just at the foot of the hill. The water is confined in a
    barrel without heads, sunk into the ground. The temperature of the
    water in the barrel was 570 F. Its sediment is nearly black, and it
    exhibits a slightly alkaline reaction.
    "These waters, and particularly those of the salt sulphur
well, are applicable to the treatment of a great variety of
chronic diseases, under judicious medical advice, combin-
ing, as they do, saline, alkaline, and chalybeate properties,
with those of the hydrogen sulphide, and the bromides
and iodides. They are found to be diuretic, diaphoretic,
tonic, and alterative, when used internally, not usually
exerting much aperient action; and when employed in
the bath, for which purpose the salt sulphur is used
exclusively, they are valuable in the treatment of cuta-
neous affections, c.
   " The very small proportions of barium, strontium,
aluminum, and lithium compounds, together with those of
boracic and phosphoric acids, which were detected in this




 


     AWAnalysis of "Salt Sulphur Water" No. 1984 and
"Black Sulphur Water" No. 1985, made by Prof. Robert
Peter, Chemist of the Kentucky Geological Survey. See
page 19 of his report, part vii, vol. v, second series:
                In 1000 parts of the water.



                                  No. 1984.  No. 1985./


Hydrogen sulphide gas.0.0011                    0.0012
Carbonic acid gas (C02) .......... .......  0.2400  .2781
                                           ,    .15



Lime carbonate............................
Magnesia carbonate ......................
Baryta carbonate..........................
Strontia carbonate.......................
Iron carbonate.............................
Alumina ....................................
Manganese carbonate and phosphoric
  acid.......    .................
Lime suiphate....- a......................
Potash sulphate......... .
Soda sulphate...........
Soda carbonate ......... traces
Calcium chloride.........................
Magnesium chloride.....
Sodium chloride............
Potassium chloride.........
Lithium chloride..............
Sodium bromide.............
Sodium iodide and sulphide.
Boracic acid.....................
Silica.........................................
Traces of organic matter and loss.



Total saline matters in 1000
parts ..................................



   0.1975
   .0506
   .0128
   .0045
   .0025
   .0006

   traces.
   .0083
................
...............
  not est.
  .0213
    .1089
  4.8997
  .0355
  .0008
  .0166
  trace.
  trace.
  .0232
  .0340


  5.4168



     0.0158
     .0046
..................
..................
     .0024 
................

    traces. 
    .0061
    .0031
    .0025
    .3247
I..................


I..................
     .1208

     trace.

     trace.
     trace.
     .0124
     .0164


     0.5088


   not est.



l.                      I



Specific gravity of the water ............ .     1.004



I



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I


 
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                          [ 7 1

recent re-examination of these waters, interesting as their
discovery may be to the philosopher, cannot be supposed
to exert much influence in their medicinal action, yet,
doubtless, they are not without effect.
  "Since the detection of barium and strontium compounds
in these waters containing sulphates, the attention of the
writer was drawn to a recent communication of M.
Dieulafait to the Academy of Science of Paris, as to the
very general presence of strontium carbonate or sulphate in
the sea waters, as well as in limestone, gypsum, and the fos-
sil remains of the mollusca, and saline mineral waters gen-
erally. According to his statement, only forty-four out of
eight hundred of such waters, c., failed to show distinct
evidence of the presence of strontium.
   "On examining Liebig's analysis of the celebrated
Ifaiserquelle (Emperor well), at Aix-la-Chapelle, in
Rhenish Prussia, one of the most noted waters of Europe,
and an early resort of the Romans, a remarkable resem-
blance in general composition may be seen between this
and the salt sulphur water of the Olympian Springs, as
the following comparative table shows:




 


[ 8 ]



                                     Salt Sulphur
                                     Water of
                                   Olympian Springs.

Lime carbonate ......... ..........5
Magnesia carbonate....      .           .05o6
Barytia carbonate.....     .            .0128
Strontia carbonate.....  .               .0045
Iron carbonate ..0025
Alumina.                  .ooo6)
Manganese, phosphoric acid ..............  traces. X
Lime sulphate ..0083
Potash sulphate..........         .
Soda sulphate..................................................
Soda carbonate..... .             i    traces.



Lithia carbonate.............................
Lithium     chloride..........................
Calcium     chloride............................
Magnesium        chloride......................
Sodium     chloride...........................
Potassium      chloride..........................
Sodium     bromide ...........................
Magnesium         bromide........................
Sodium      sulphide............................
Sodium      iodide..............................
Boracic acid................................
Silica     ......................................
Organic matters, etc........................

  Total saline matters in I,ooo parts....



Temperature..................................



   Water of
 Emperor Well,
 Aix-la-Chapelle.

    o.i580
    .0510
.....................
     .0002
     '.0096
     traces.
     traces.
     .1540
     .2830
     .6500



  ..................    .0003
    .ooo8    ....................
    .0213    ....................
    .1089    ...............
    4.8997        2.6390
    .0355    .................
    .oI66         .0036
....................ooo6
   traces.        .0195
   traces.       traces.
   traces.   ....................
   .0232         .o66 i
   .0340         .0752

   5.4168        4.1020

   560 F.        1310 F.



    "The Aix-la-Chapelle are hot springs, and the water
contains more alkaline sulphates and carbonates, with less
of chlorides and bromides than our salt sulphur water; but
the general resemblance of their chemical composition is
close, especially as they contain nearly the same gaseous
ingredients.
   " One object in view in the re-examination of the
Olympian Spring waters was to ascertain whether their



I


 
[ 9 ]



proportion of saline matters had been diminished in the
lapse of nearly twenty years since the first analyses were
made by the writer. It is interesting to see that no
notable change in this repect has occurred. (See vol. 4
p. 69, Reports Geological Survey of Kentucky, first
series.) The slight apparent difference being probably
due to less perfect drying of the total saline matter in the
former analyses.
     "Chalybeate Mineral Waters of the Olympian Springs.
"No. i,987-'MAIN CHALYBEATE SPRING; in a valley, about
    half a mile north of the main building, Olympian Springs.'
    "The water runs, over a wooden gutter, out of the
ferruginous magnesian limestone, which lies under the
Devonian shale at the base of the hill, about four feet
above the bed of the so-called ' Chalybeate Branch,' which
runs into Mud Lick.    The spring yields about three
litres of water per minute (i. e., somewhat more than
three quarts).  The temperature of the water is 540
Fahrenheit. It deposits a sediment in its channel of out-
flow, which is of a ferruginous-brown color. The water
as it flows out of its source, is remarkably clear, but
exposure to the air, by the removal of carbonic acid and
the substitution of oxygen, converts the dissolved iron
carbonate into the hydrated peroxide, which is insoluble
in water.
   "The dried ferruginous sediment, on analysis, was
found to contain about 65 per cent. of iron peroxide, about
20 per cent. of soluble silica, with notable proportionso
of lime and magnesia carbonates, and traces of man-
ganese, phosphoric and apocrenic acids. Hydrosulphuric
acid did not detect the presence of arsenic or any metal
of that group.




 


                            [I O ]

"No. i,988-' CHALYBEATE SPRING, flowing out of a crevice in
    the ferruginous magnesian limestone in the bed of the Chalybeate
    Branch, about sixty yards above the main chalybeate spring above
    described.'

    "It deposits a ferruginous sediment in the bed of the
branch of a light brownish-orange color.

COMPOSITION OF THESE OLYMPIAN SPRING CHALYBEATE
                          WATE RS.



In the i,ooo parts.



No. 1,987 No. i,988'



Free carbonic acid gas ................    0.1214     0.1269

                                       iI



Iron carbonate.,,,,,,,.,....,,,,,...          !
Lime carbonate................................
Magnesia carbonate.........................
Manganese carbonate..........................
Phosphoric acid................................
Lime sulphate.................................
Magnesia sulphate.......
Potash sulphate...............................
Soda sulphate....................................
Sodium   chloride    ............................
Magnesium     chloride........................
Lithium   chloride............................
Apocrenic acid ............................
Silica.............................................
Loss. .              ...................

Total saline matters in I,000 parts of the!
  waters ...'..



0.0242  0.0100
  .0998   o.890
  .0143 1  .0103
  trace.  trace.
  trace.  trace.
  .0554   .0366
  .1170    .o693
  .0125    .0117
,,,......  .0238
  .0308   .oo6o
  .0031 ......-
  trace   trace.
  trace. I trace.
  .0332    .0198
  .0194    .oi68

0.4097   0.2935



   " The main chalybeate spring water is in every respect
very good of its kind, and may be used in all cases in
which chalybeate remedies are indicated. The principal
difference in composition between the two springs is, that



Held in
solution
by free
carbon-
ic acid.



I



I




 


                          [ II ]

the main spring is more than twice as strong      in iron
carbonate, making it a better chalybeate remedy than the
other. It also contains more sulphate of magnesia, but
less sulphate of soda. They form a valuable addition to
the Olympian Springs.
  "As the chalybeate and other saline ingredients of these
waters seem evidently to have been derived mainly from
the ferruginous magnesian limestone out of which they
flow, and which the waters have worn and perforated in a
remarkable manner, the writer collected some of the lime-
and submitted it to analysis, with the following result:
"No. i,989-FERRUGINOUS MAGNESIAN LIMESTONE, out of
    which flow the chalybeate springs above described, as well as many
    others in this region, and which forms the bed of the Chalybeate
    Branch, at and near those chalybeate springs. It lies immediately
    under Black Devonian Shale, collected by Robert Peter.
    " A crystalline-granular limestone; grey, of various
tints, in the interior-generally light grey; light ferru-
ginous or brownish-ochreous on the exterior. Adheres
slightly to the tongue, and is more or less porous. The
water has worn it irregularly, and in some places perfor-
ated it by enlarging the small crevices or cavities in it:
            COMPOSITION, DRIED AT 2120 F.

Lime carbonate .............................. .........54...................  54000
Magnesia  carbonate  .......   ...............................................  34.027
Irdn carbonate..............................................................  1.532
Phosphoric acid .  ..................................................  oo6
Potash................. .           .....................143
Soda.                                ...................................................040
Silica ........................................ .............................  .280
Total ........................................................................ I00.028

  "The main agent in the solution of this ferruginous


 
[ 12 ]



limestone is, undoubtedly, the carbonic acid dissolved in
the water which flows over or percolates it. The greater
part of this carbonic acid is no doubt derived from the
gradual decomposition of the vegetable matters on the
surface of the hill at the base of which the springs and
this rock are located. At present this and the neighbor-
ing hills are covered with the primeval pine forest which
keeps the surface continually covered with its vegetable
debris, which, by slow decomposition and oxidation,
yields an abundance of carbonic acid to the atmospheric
water which falls upon it, thus making it, what the pure
water itself is not, a good solvent of the iron and other
carbonates of the ferruginous magnesian limestone beneath.
It appears, therefore, that the character or strength of
these springs is greatly dependent on the forest growth on
the surface of the hill or hills above them; and that it
these woods on the hills above should be at any time
cleared off, and the surface of the land deprived of its
present carpet of decaying vegetable matters, the springs
would measurably lose their strength and value. Another
deplorable result from clearing off these woods and bring-
ing the soil into arable culture would be, that more of the
atmospheric water would run off from the surface of the
hills, and less of it would sink into the depth of the soil
and subsoil to feed springs; so that, if the springs were
not entirely dried up, except in a rainy season, their out-
flow would be greatly diminished. Moreover, the beauty,
salubrity, and attractiveness of this favorite sylvan water-
ing-place depend greatly on the native pine forest which
clothes the neighboring hills.
   " In addition to the sulphur, salt sulphur and chalybeate
waters of this locality, there are others, saline End alkaline,




 


                            [ I3 ]

of various qualities, deriving their dissolved ingredients,
some from the salts of the primeval ocean under which the
rocks were deposited, some from the action of the atmos-
pheric waters and gases on the Devonian and other strata.
One of the oldest known, which formerly was called a
salt lick, to which the wild denizens of the forests resorted,
and around which the buffaloes made their wallows, may
be described as follows:
"No. I,990-'SALT WATER from the old well at the original Salt
    Lick, near the remains of the old barracks of the volunteers of i812,
    about one hundred to one hundred and fifty yards south from the
    main house.'
    "The water flows out in a small stream, running into
Mud Lick creek. The ground about is covered with an
efflorescence of salt. The water tastes like that of the
salt sulphur well, but it has only a slight odor of hy-
drogen sulphide.
          COMPOSITION OF THIS SALT WATER.
Carbonic acid gas not estimated; hydrogen suip/lhde, a trace. In i,ooo parts
                         of the water.



Lime carbonate........................................i844
Magnesia carbonate ....................8............... .0458
Baryta carbonate ..................................... 9oogg
Strontia carbonate ....................................  .0045
Iron and manganese carbonate, and phosphate... . ooi
Lime sulphate ..................................... .. 0036
Soda corbonate ....................................  .224I
Calcium chloride ..................... .................. . 0152
Magnesium    chloride ....................................  iI88
Sodium chloride .. ...................................... 4.71I21
Potassium chloride..................................... 0375
Lithium chloride ................. ...................... trace.
Bromine, boracic acid .trace.
Silica .................0...... .............. ..   .0232
Loss.......           .          .130

Total saline contents in i,ooo parts of the water 5-3940



Held in solu-
 tion by the
J carbonic
I  acid.


 


                           [ '4 ]

    "This water resembles that of the salt sulphur well in
the relative proportions of its common salt and other
chlorides; but it is more decidedly alkaline, because of its
larger proportion of carbonate of soda, and contains less
of bromine and lithium compounds. Moreover, it is
almost destitute of hydrogen and sodium sulphides, which
give a distinctive character to the salt sulphur water. On
examining volume IV of the Reports of the Geological
Survey of Kentucky, first series, for the former analysis ot
this water, the writer finds that a transposition of the
labels on the bottles in which the waters were sent to
the laboratory by Mr. Gill must have occurred (see pages
7I, 72), so that the label 'salt water,' c., c., was placed
on the bottle which contained the so-called ' cooking
water,' and vice versa. The analysis No. 803, page 72,
agrees pretty well with the present in the principal in-
gredients and the total saline contents. This now published
is of course more complete and accurate.
     "The Alkaline Saline Waters of the Olympian Springs.
"No i,99i-WATER from the well at the kitchen door of the main
   house; about eight feet deep; yields about one hundred and thirty-
   five gallons per hour. The water is raised with a wooden pump.
   " It is slightly alkaline in reaction, and deposits a slight
ochreous sediment in the bottle. Tastes somewhat chaly-
beate, and smells and tastes faintly sulphurous. This
water is used for all ordinary purposes of the kitchen and
household, as well as for drinking.
"No. I,992-WATER, called 'Tea Water,' from a spring or open shal-
   low well, on the border of Mtud Lick creek, about half a mile south
   of the main house, and above it on the stream.
   "The spring is inclosed in two no-headed barrels,




 


[ I5 ]



placed the one on top of the other, and is about four feet
deep. The water was not overflowing. Temperature of
the water 620. Reaction slightly alkaline. As there had
been rain shortly before the sample of the water was
obtained for analysis, it may possibly be weaker than
usual.
             COMPOSITION OF THESE WATERS.
                   In i,ooo parts of the water.

                                   No I,99z No. 1,992

Carbonic acid gas .............................l not est.  not est.
Hydrogen sulphide gas ........................ a trace.  none.

Lime carbonate ................................ o.o556  0.0241  Held in
Magnesia carbonate .............................  .02 7 7  .0059  solution
Strontia carbonate or sulphate ...............  trace.  trace.  by car-
Iron  Manganese carbonates  phosph...  .0054   .0022 ) b o n i c
Lime sulphate    .      .       .................oo65............ acid.
Soda sulphate .......................... ...  .0208
Potash sulphate........               .0285       .
Sodium chloride..........             . 483    .0377
Potassium chloride.............                .0039
Magnesium chloride       .    .       .0047 ....-.-
Soda carbonate...........     -..     .5431    .4479
Sodium suilphide  .     .......       trace. .
Lithia, boracic acid  .    ..................  trace.  trace.
Silica and loss ........................ .  o280  .03 15

Total saline contents in i,000 parts .......  o.8686  0.5532



    "Although these waters do not contain a very large
proportion of saline matters, yet their alkaline and slightly
chalybeate properties may make them available as diuretic,
depurative, tonic, and alterative remedial agents. 'Many
celebrated alkaline waters are not stronger in saline and
gaseous contents than these.