Lest We Forget
The landscape around the salt and mineral springs known today as Bledsoe's Lick has served as a community for human families for more than 12,000 years. Long-vanished creatures such as mammoths and peccaries were drawn to the rich mineral licks of Sumner County. The wealth of animals and plants, and the natural beauty of the area, drew the first known Native American settlers of the state to hunt and camp nearby. Since those first humans settled in, more than six hundred generations of families have in some way called Bledsoe's Lick "home."
The first town at Bledsoe's Lick was founded by prehistoric Native American peoples around A.D. 1100. While the name of their tribe is lost to the mists of time, hundreds or perhaps thousands of Native Americans called this town home for centuries. Earthen pyramids constructed to support their versions of courthouses, churches, and other public buildings can still be seen in the fields surrounding the lick. Archaeological research at this site demontrate its importance -- the leaders of this first town traded with their counterparts on the Gulf Coast, the Carolinas, southern Illinois, and Oklahoma. For reasons as yet unclear, the people of this town moved on around A.D. 1450, leaving their sacred mounds to quietly remind us "we were here first."
As the first European explorers moved west of the Appalachian Mountains, they too were drawn to the rich lands around the mineral springs. One of the first explorers of the region, the longhunter Isaac Bledsoe rediscovered the area in 1772. Less than a decade later, Isaac and his brother Anthony were among the families who established the community of Bledsoe's Lick. As the American Revolutionary War raged in the east, men, women, and children of European and African descent carved a new community from this landscape.
About 1830, the name of this community was changed to Castalian Springs -- a more noble title for the mineral springs resort and spa which served as the focal point of this community during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Today, as modern progress increasingly impacts this landscape, the Bledsoe's Lick Historical Association seeks to preserve some of the natural, historic, and archaeological treasures of the region.
Tennessee Highway 25 from Carthage west to its junction with Tennessee 49 near Springfield is one of the state's most historic and scenic roads -- C. Van West, Tennessee's Historic Landscapes: A Traveler's Guide, 1995, University of Tennessee Press.
Bledsoe's Lick Historical Association Inc. (BLHA), will not exclude any person from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination in the performance of this grant or in the employment practices of BLHA on the grounds of: disability, age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or any other classification protected by Federal, Tennessee State constitutional or statutory law. BLHA will, upon request, show proof of such nondiscrimination and will post in conspicuous places, available to all employees, volunteers, members, and visitors, notices of nondiscrimination.
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