For nearly two centuries, Brunswick Springs has beckoned those with entrepreneurial spirits, drawing them to envision thriving businesses amid its serene surroundings. However, a series of four devastating hotel fires left these hopeful ventures in ruin, prompting speculation about whether these tragedies were mere coincidences or the ominous hand of the so-called Brunswick Springs curse.
Situated in Brunswick, VT, a small town within the Northeast Kingdom, Brunswick Springs boasts six distinct mineral-rich springs, each believed to contain unique elements such as iron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, bromide, and even arsenic, which flow into the Connecticut River located 65 feet below. The legend of the curse traces back to 1748 when Abenaki tribes resided near the springs, utilizing the natural healing properties of its waters. The tale tells of a wounded soldier in the French and Indian War whose miraculous recovery at the springs sparked attempts to bottle and sell its water, inciting objections from the Abenakis.
Local lore contends that a sorceress, grieving the loss of an Abenaki man and child during the conflict, cursed the springs, proclaiming that any attempts to profit from them would end in failure. This curse allegedly bore ominous fruit as successive hotel fires plagued the area. Despite the stories of healing and purportedly miraculous waters, these incidents cast an air of mystery and trepidation over Brunswick Springs.
Historical records reveal a timeline of construction, destruction, and persistent attempts to capitalize on the supposed healing allure of the springs. The initial hotel, Brunswick Spring House, arose in 1860, boasting the medicinal prowess of the Great Spirit’s waters. However, a pattern emerged as subsequent fires, including those in 1894 and 1929, repeatedly razed the establishments to the ground, shrouding the once-promising ventures in uncertainty and doubt.
Today, remnants of the bygone hotels lay scattered amidst the serene landscape. An old, overturned springhouse and a decaying foundation of the 1931 hotel serve as haunting reminders of the area’s tumultuous past. Despite the allure of potential development, the land now remains under the ownership of the Abenaki people, safeguarded from future ventures by a conservation easement, signaling an end to any ambitions of commercial exploitation.
The mystique surrounding Brunswick Springs persists, with stories of healing powers attributed to its waters circulating among locals. While scientific testing has failed to substantiate claims of distinct minerals in each spring, accounts of personal healing and resilience, like those of Bill Boudle who attributes his recovery to the water, continue to perpetuate the enduring legacy of the enigmatic Brunswick Springs. Whether rooted in fact or embellished by legend, the allure of these mystical waters retains its hold, casting an ethereal charm that captivates those who tread upon its historic grounds.