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Features

February 26, 2013

Cave Spring: Water, passion and preservation

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Empty milk jugs travel to Cave Spring with people who plan. Now that I know how pure and delicious the water is in this northwest Georgia community, I intend to take the Waterford pitcher.

No chemicals in the 1,200,000 gallons flowing every day from deep underground—just a dash of fluoride and a bit of required chlorinate.

“99.9 percent pure,” Cave Spring Mayor Rob Ware says.

To fill your pitchers, here’s the set-up:

Meander through the 29-acre Rolater Park, cross a little stream with ducks of many-hued heads.

Stare at the limestone cave dreaming of the rocks and passageways inside. Self-guided tours available for $1 spring and autumn or by appointment.

 Squat just outside the cave entrance to fill as many containers as you like.

 Paper cups are available inside but I’d recommend taking a substantial vessel. This water tastes too good for only a sip.

Perhaps the water’s reason enough to visit.  Maybe sleep over.  Two historic inns are real options.

 I chose the two-story Victorian Tumlin House where the great-great niece of the original owner is today’s proprietor. I like real-live history connections and Nancy Boehm has a house full of them.

 Pronounce that bome, spelled like the artisans of porcelain birds but not related and not said the same way.

 Nancy knows lots of family stories in Cave Spring, going back to her Aunt Julia Dickerson receiving this house as a wedding gift from her father in 1896 when she married Albert Tumlin.

 Albert’s hat hangs in the parlor.

 Passionate people live here, caring deeply about their town of 1,200 neighbors.

Enduring spirits do too: the Cherokee.

Local historians discovered a two-story log building belonging to the Cherokee Vann family in the early 1800s.

That means before the Trail of Tears, and before Cave Spring was claimed by white settlers.

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