Taking a little side trip on your overview of The Shades Crest Road Historical District, we are going to look at the water sources in the area. Most residents of Bluff Park can say they have water running in front of, behind, beside or under their homes. This is because Bluff Park is home to several natural underground springs.
In the years that the area was a resort visitors would come for the Chalybeate and Freestone springs. They were said to hold medicinal properties. Daniel Pratt Hale sent a sample of the water from one of the springs to the State Geologists at the time at the University of Alabama. They compared it to the water at Hot Springs Arkansas. The finding were that the waters contained very small percentages of mineral salts but they were considered most “efficacious medicinally.”
In 1907 State Geologists Eugene Allen Smith in corporation with the State Geological Survey comprised a collection called The Underground Water Resources of Alabama. In that work Mr. Smith includes a survey by Mr. Hodges, chemist to the survey, stating that at Hale Springs they found springs of “the finest chalybeate water and one might say characteristic in the basal conglomerates and other strata of the Coal Measures wherever theses appear in the cliffs overlooking the valley.”
* Smith, Eugene Allen, and Frank P. Chaffee. The Underground Water Resources of Alabama. Montgomery, Ala: Brown Print. Co., State Printers and Binders, 1907. http://catalog.jclc.org/record=b1396097 library use only
*Rikard, Marlene Hunt. Essays on the Bluff Park Community: Shades Mountain, Hoover, Alabama. [Birmingham, Ala.]: Marlene Hunt Rikard, 2005