This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
If one of the great pleasures of travel is novelty, and observing changes in modes of life and modes of thought, the Southerner should undoubtedly come Northwards, and the Northerner visit the South. The change affects the observer as much as a trip from London to Brussels. We speak the same language, but our usages are vastly different. A residence of a few weeks at the various springs of Virginia, offers inducements to the healthy of this kind, with a cool atmosphere, and a mixing with polite and agreeable people, whose thoughts, however, run in a refreshingly new channel, that leaves out much that we glory in - such as love of stock securities, and a never-ceasing talk of money. The railroad from Alexandria will carry you, this season, to the very doors of the Rockbridge Alum Springs, now all the fashion, where a good table, and a gentleman to administer to your society as well as comforts, give attractions of superior order. Then these Alum Waters do really cure some of the worst ailments of our fragile race.
A short ride by good stages conveys you to the Warm Springs - a bath in whose waters you will never forget, and a seat at whose table is a treat, even to the boarder at the Girard House. A little further are the Red Sweet, the Sweet, the Healing, the Hot Springs, and, further on, the Salt - a capital place, and, near by, the fashionable White Sulphur, where stages by the dozen arrive full of people who know perfectly well they must sleep on the floor; but fashion is omnipotent, and you must be seen there if you want to get a partner for life, or expect to be able to converse for the ensuing winter. A day's ride then brings you to the Red Sulphur, famous for curing consumption.
For our own comfort, we should be perfectly satisfied with the Rockbridge Alum, and could settle down there, for the season, on its venison and hot bread, making excursions to the Natural Bridge and the Peaks of Otter, without any regrets for tide-water or lobsters. There is here a daily mail, and a well-managed post-office. People who have never tried this summer atmosphere, have no proper notion of cool America in hot weather.