Seven Fountains Farm


Burner's White Sulpher Springs Resort... Seven Fountains Resort... Seven Fountains Health Resort... Seven Fountains Farm...

Pre-civil War

"Two Burner families were living in the Powells Fort in 1783; Earhart with a household of eight and Jacob with one of seven. Earhart Burner bought, from Simon and Margaret Morgan for 50 pounds, 200 acres on in Powell' s Fort, on the east side of the creek. This is doubtless the tract on the east side of Passage Creek which was long owned by Burners and became a famous summer resort known as 'Burner's Springs' and 'Seven Fountains ' because of seven springs all within about a half acre and each having a different mineral element: black, white, blue sulphur, alum, slate, limestone and freestone.'' Burners are living in the Shenandoah Valley today. The house at the Burner home place was built in 1845 by Abraham Burner (1799 -1878.)

BIOGRAPHY: From Recipes and Recollections from Home Place by Jane Seed Shillington; original copy located in Robinson Township Library, Robinson, Crawford Co, Illinois pp 13-14

Original artwork: Burner's Springs Resort by Edward Beyer (1820-1865) from The Album of Virginia (1856).

Pre-Civil War

Noah Burner built a resort on the property in 1850. Know as Burner's White Sulpher Springs Resorst, it featured a 100 feet long by 40 feet wide three-story hotel, with balconies on each side, a large ballroom, a ten-pin bowling alley, and a tavern. 

The picture above shows two large buildings and several bath houses and pavilions covering the springs. There were seven springs from which gushed seven different types of mineral water, chalybeate, magnesia, lithia, white, blue and black sulphur and limestone water. According to Dr. Waylan's history, three stage coaches came to the hotel daily from Woodstock, from Waterlick and from Milford (now Overall.) The hotel musicians assembled and played at the arrival and departure of the coaches. Guests ranges between 300 and 600 during the season and much of the work was done by slaves. Whether the hotel was burned down, or was torn down is not clear, but it did not operate after the Civil War. In 1956, the only relics were a couple of pavilions covering the springs. Several of the springs which gushed supposedly curative waters, have disappeared.

Credit: The Sunday Star, Washington, DC Sunday, September 9, 1956: p. A-15

On its Springs (1859)


Are situated on the western base of the Massanutten Mountain, in the County of Shenandoah.

The position of these springs is elevated and salubrious, affording a pleasant and healthful resort for the invalid during the hot months of summer. The scenery around is picturesque and beautiful; and from the summits of the Fort, and Massanutten Mountains, that surround the springs, unsurpassed in its extent and rural loveliness.

In a bowl-like hollow, and within a circle whose radius does not exceed a few rods, rise the "Seven Fountains" not homogeneous, but differing in temperature and character from each other.

The central spring is a sulphur water, and within a few yards of it, are two others of the same general character, but differing somewhat in temperature and chemical composition. At a few paces distant are freestone, slate, and limestone springs, and very near, still another, called the Willow Spring, differing from all the others.

The temperature of the Blue Sulphur is 60° Fah., and its water is reported to contain in its gaseous contents, sulph. hydrogen and carb. acid ; and in its solid contents, sulph. soda, sulph. magnesia, sulph. lime, carbonate magnesia, carbonate lime, chloride calcium, chloride sodium, and proto-sulph. iron, but in what relative proportions has not been ascertained.

The White Sulphur is reported to contain the same ingredients as the "Blue," with the addition of the chloride of magnesia, and the exception of the proto-sulph. iron.

Judging from the analysis before us, these two springs do not very essentially differ from each other.

The Willow Spring, in its gaseous contents, contains carbonic acid; in its solids, carbonate soda, carbonate magnesia, carbonate lime, chloride sodium, alumina, and organic matter.

The Chalybeate Spring is a carbonated water, in which is found carbonate of magnesia, lime, soda, and iron, with sulphates of soda and lime.

The various Dyspeptic depravities, functional derangements of the abdominal viscera, ' chronic diseases of the Skin, Kidneys, and Bladder, as well as general debility, with nervous mobility, will be advantageously treated by these waters.

These springs may be conveniently reached from Woodstock, eight miles distant.

Source: The Virginia springs, and springs of the South and West J. J. Moorman, M.D., J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April, 1859. Chapter XIII p. 300

May 31, 1862
Skirmish at Burner’s Springs near Front Royal, VA.
Source: "Today in Civil War History" Facebook Page

November 10, 1864
We marched down the Valley at sunrise, Kershaw in front, followed by Pegram, Grimes (who commands Rodes' division since Ramseur's death), Gordon, and Wharton. The artillery followed Kershaw. Two divisions encamped beyond Woodstock; the others this side. Headquarters on the Burner's Springs road, a mile from Woodstock. Marched twenty-two miles. The troops marched well. Rosser went to Fairview; Lomax to Front Royal. Fine day; mild in a.m., but chilly wind late in p.m.
Source: Series I Volume XLIII Part I Page 583 of 1032 - Shenandoah Valley Campaign

February, 1865
There appears to have been about two dozen men in the signal detachment operating at Signal Knob, and they usually worked in three shifts daily.  When not on duty, the men lived in a hotel at Burner's Springs.  The Warren County Historical Society has the hotel register wherein the proprietor kept an account of these troops for reimbursement from the Confederate government. 
Source: Shenandoah County in the Civil War

Gazebo and guest houses in undated photo.

Tree groves and meadows mark the site of the old Burner Springs Hotel where - before the Civil War - people gathered from afar to enjoy the healing qualities of the seven springs that produced seven types of mineral water.

Seven Fountains Farm Homestead. March, 1942

Recent Ownership
In 1969, Lou Shomette purchased the property as a retreat from the hustle of the Washington, DC metro area.  Lovingly managed by Jim Snyder and later, Al Gregory until Lou moved here full time in 1994.  Since, it's been run as a cattle and feed farm.

Gazebo and the 22 acre lake.   February 16, 1967
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