Cave Spring, Ga – In Vann’s Valley

The town is in Floyd County, 17 ½ miles SW of Rome.

Cave Spring is in Vann’s Valley, named for a Cherokee chieftain, The City of Cave Spring was established in 1832 by settlers of English and Scoth-Irish ancestry.   The town was named for the limestone spring which produces 2 million gallons of water daily inside a cave in the center of the village. Cave Spring was incorporated in 1852.  The cave and spring site is now the part of Rolater Park, formerly used by educational institutions such as Cave Spring Manual Labor School (renamed Hearn Academy) and others including Georgia School for the Deaf. The spring flows into a sparkling pond from Rolater Park and then into a 1.5-acre swimming pool, the pool is constructed out of stones.

The town is small but charming.  The Cave is open from May-October and I visited in March (oh well) so I visited a couple of stores and picked up a “historic tour” map at the Welcome Center.  The people at the Welcome Center was friendly and answered my questions.

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Welcome Center and Museum – The house is called the Asbury House on Rome Street – Dr. Culbertsen purchased this property from the Hearn Trustees in 1846.  In 1881 T. Asbury purchased the house.  Pick up a historic tour map – #25 on the map.

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The Hearn Academy – Rolater Park Dr. – In 1839, The Baptist church established the school.  In 1845, it was renamed Hearn Academy after Lott Hearn, who bequeathed $12,500.  The school closed in 1926. – #19 on the tour

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Hearn Inn 1839 – Rolater Park Dr. – The building was originally a boys dormitory for the Hearn Academy.  It later became a girls dorm.  The school closed in 1926.  The Cave Spring Historical Society restored the house as a bed and breakfast. – # 21 on the tour

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Fannin Hall – In 1849, the School for the Deaf was established Principal Teacher O.P. Fannin, began to work with a small number of children in 1846.  He soon made a trip to Connecticut to learn sign language.  When the school moved the building became City Hall. – #22 on the tour

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School for the Deaf – (see above picture)  the plaque in front of the school reads:  In 1833, a deaf man, John Jacobus Flournoy, of Jackson County, great grandson of Jacob Flournoy, a French Huguenot, urging education for the deaf, interested Governor Wilson Lumpkin and this Georgia Legislature in the educational movement. At first the pupils, few in number, were sent to the American Asylum for Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Conn. Distance, weather and the youth of the pupils made that unsatisfactory. On May 15, 1846, with four pupils in a log cabin, with O.P. Fannin, teacher, this school began as a part of the Hearn Manual School at Cave Spring, Georgia. This school grew rapidly and, in 1847, a brick building was erected and dedicated. Later, other additions were made. The school was closed during the War Between the States and used as a hospital by both Confederate and Union forces. It resumed operations in February 1867 and is still supported by the State of Georgia. In 1955 this school had 82 teachers and employees and an income of more than $500,000.

General Store – Rome Road – The store was built in the 1850s.  It was the first post office in Cave Spring and later became the “first filling” station. Legend is that an Indian Chief, Big Rattling Gourd, bit off his wife’s nose because she was unfaithful.  She is supposedly buried under the building.  #1 on the tour

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