Skip directly to content

Blue Springs

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Blue Springs is located in southern Barbour County in the southeast corner of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government. It is the site of Blue Springs State Park.
History
Blue Springs began as a land purchase by Thomas Hagler, one of the original settlers in the area who bought the land around the springs from the federal government in 1839. Farming was the major economic driver in the town during the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1890s, however, local entrepreneurs began to realize the potential of the constant 68-degree springs as a travel destination. As a result, tourism became a mainstay of the local economy. In particular, the Whigham family invested in expanding a spring on their property in the 1890s and erected the Blue Springs Hotel by 1900 to accommodate travelers drawn to the alleged healing powers of the spring. The hotel offered a room and three meals a day for one dollar. Some visitors built their own cottages near the springs. The community also was a popular destination for politicians who could draw a bigger crowd by speaking at the resort. Blue Springs was incorporated in 1907.
A major flood devastated the area in 1918, and then in 1919 the influenza pandemic hit. As Blue Springs School, a twelve-grade institution, was being constructed in 1920 a tornado struck. Townspeople gathered up undamaged lumber to construct the school, which opened in 1921. Just before the Great Depression, the town's business district had at least two general stores, one with a pool room, a blacksmith shop and garage, a doctor's office, a grist mill, and a barber shop. The town also had two cotton gins. By the time of the Great Depression, the hotel at the springs was rarely open, but people still came to stay in their cottages. Blue Springs State Park was established in the mid-1960s and features a pair of concrete swimming pools. The underground spring pumps approximately 3,600 gallons of water per hour into the two pools.
Demographics
Blue Springs's population according to the 2010 Census was 96. Of that number, 92.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 6.3 percent as African American, and 3.1 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 1.0 percent as Asian. The town's median household income, according to 2015 estimates, was $45,313, and the per capita income was $24,239.
Employment
According to 2015 Census estimates, the workforce in Blue Springs was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Retail trade (23.7 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (22.0 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (15.3 percent)
· Construction (13.6 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.8   percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (6.8 percent)
· Manufacturing (5.1 percent)
· Public administration (5.1 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (1.7 percent)
Education
Students in Blue Springs attend Barbour County schools; no public schools lie within the town limits.
Transportation
State Highway 10 bisects Blue Springs running northwest-southeast.
Events and Places of Interest
Blue Springs State Park lies within the town limits of Blue Springs. The park offers camping, fishing and picnicking opportunities and swimming at the two spring-fed pools. The park holds an annual catfish rodeo at the springs.

Additional Resources

Barbour County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Barbour County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2001.
McLaughlin, Wayne. Blue Springs. Bloomington, Ind.: Authorhouse, 2012.
Thompson, Mattie Thomas. History of Barbour County, Alabama. Eufaula, Ala.: n.p., 1939.
Published:  June 23, 2017   |   Last updated:  June 23, 2017