Vermont Nature May 19, 2019
This Cursed Spring In Vermont Has Been Called The Eighth Wonder Of The World
The woods of Vermont hide plenty of hidden trails and bubbling brooks, but there’s one spring that has a story more enigmatic than most. Brunswick Springs have been called sacred, cursed, and wondrous. Here’s what you need to know to decide for yourself.
Brunswick Springs is a little waterway located in Brunswick, a tiny town of about 100 people. The spring isn’t much to look at – it’s essentially just a small waterfall that winds its way down a series of rocky ledges. However, it’s the water itself that has fueled the mystery around this spot. Brunswick Springs trickles into the Connecticut River through six separate flows. Each outlet is supposed to contain a different mineral: iron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, bromide and arsenic. In 1984, Ripleys Believe it or Not called the springs the "Either Wonder of the World."
The legend starts in 1748, when the Abenaki native people who lived in the area brought a wounded French soldier to the spring. They placed him under the water, which seemed to cure his wounds. Amazed, the soldier later returned to the spring and attempted to bottle and sell the water. The Abenaki residents were horrified that he would seek to make money from the healing waters of this sacred spring. A violent conflict ensued which ended in the death of an Abenaki man and child. The child’s mother, wracked with grief, cursed the the spring. She decreed that whoever tried to profit from its waters would fail.
In the 1800s, rumors of the spring water’s healing properties began to spread. A hotel called the Brunswick Spring House was built above the spring in 1860, piping its medicinal waters straight to each guest room. Though the hotel was successful for several years, it eventually burned to the ground. In the early 1900s, John Hutchins built the Pine Crest Lodge hotel in its place. That hotel also burned to the ground in 1929. Over the next two years, Hutchins rebuilt the hotel twice, with each new building burning down within a year. A series of suicides and accidents have also occurred in the spring area, leading many locals to believe the curse of the Abenaki mother still holds sway.
Today, Brunswick Springs and the land around it is once again owned by the Abenaki people. They have forbidden development of the land, as it remains a sacred place for the Abenaki tribe. Though scientific testing has found no significant mineral difference between each of the six springs, locals still claim that there’s something special in the water.
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