By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
aided by the Dade County Library’s amazing new microfiche reader – and by its
amazing manager, Marshana Sharp, for guidance on use of same – spent a recent
afternoon in the library’s genealogy room cruising through vintage newspapers
for any reference to the fabled Klondike Springs of Rising Fawn.
found none, but that is not to say the Sentinel came away with nothing. The
Sentinel, bless its heart, does usually find something.
Sentinel found this time was indications that in the early 1900s, practically
everyone in the United States seemed to have been clutching his or her stomach
moaning in agony more or less constantly, and thus ripe to buy into the
dyspepsia-healing properties of Rising Fawn’s miraculous mineral springs.
nothing that will repair wasted tissue more quickly or replace lost flesh more
abundantly than Scott’s Emulsion,” reads one ad. “It nourishes and builds up
the body when ordinary foods absolutely fail.”
and “lost flesh” sound more serious than can be imagined curable by patent
medicines, but most of the ads in the Dade County Sentinel’s June 1905 editions
were for preparations with names like Ayer’s Cherry Pectoral and Mozley’s Lemon
Elixir that seem aimed mostly at the digestive system. They were touted to cure
“Constipation, Indigestion, Sour Stomach, Headache, Colic, Disordered Lungs and
Kidneys, and Keeps the System in Perfect Harmony, regulating Bowels.”
preparations had multiple and confusingly mixed uses – Dyspepsia, Constipation
and Sick Headache, for example. “Bromo Quinine Tablets” promised “To Cure a
Cold in One Day.” Another ad promised: “No fits or nervousness after first
day’s use of Dr. Kline’s Great Nerve Restorer.”
The Dade County
Sentinel itself was confusingly mixed in those days, too. Pictures tended to
run on the ad pages while the front was a solid wall of words, and A1 tended to
contain not local stories but news of the world, such as mine explosions in
Wales or China’s determination to be represented at the Russo-Japanese
The world is
smaller today, but so is the Sentinel, and “China Seeks to Butt In” is now a
less likely headline on these pages than “GDOT Installs Stealth Stop Sign.”
Wales, in any case, is way off the Sentinel’s beat. The Sentinel seldom
stretches itself past, say, Wildwood.
But it was in
fact local information the present-day Sentinel was seeking, with increasing
impatience, in its cobwebbed back editions. What it found was that in those
days Dade County news came only in small, intriguing paragraphs submitted
individually by Dade’s various precincts.
Fawn News” contained snippets like: “Little Misses Julia and Marian Cureton,
daughters of Rep. Cureton, are here visiting their grandparents”; “Mr. Cantrell
B. Hale was a Chattanooga shopper Monday”; and “The Odd Fellows of this place
anticipate having a picnic soon.”
stuff, but just as today, a flash of acid journalistic personality was
discernible from time to time, as in: “Quite a nice crowd out at prayer meeting
Sunday evening. Next time they need come a little earlier.”
But the most
interesting passage came from “The Morganville News” section dated July 7,
“The 4th of
July passed off quietly at our place. Most of the farmers are very busy laying
by their crops. We understand W.S.
Porter and Thos. Jones are offering $50 reward for 20 acres of corn they lost
on Lookout Creek.
“The boys say
they planted it and it came up, but they can’t find it now. Boys, if you don’t
hustle, Gen. Green will take all of your crop.”
Again, no news
of miraculous mineral waters in this roundup; but the digestive aid market
leads to interesting speculation that in those pre-Dade-Water-Authority days
not all drinking water was as healthful as those advertised at Klondike Springs.
And as the for
the mysterious Morganville news, the Sentinel has no idea who Gen. Green might
have been but does remember that corn is used in making whiskey.