from "Two Hundred Years Plus - Bradford, NH in Retrospect"
History tells us that the spring was first heard of by white men in 1770, when some of them passing that way saw a group of Indians encamped with their sick around the "big medicine water" as they called it.
It was about 1844 that General Samuel Andrews of Hillsborough moved to Bradford Springs about one mile from East Washington Village and in 1858 built the "Bradford Springs Hotel" which he called "The Hermitage", a house one hundred by forty feet, and had it furnished and opened for business in 10 weeks.
In 1881 Henry McCoy purchased the property which comprised "upwards of forty acres of land including Lovewell Lake." The old hotel, The Hermitage, had become far too small to accommodate its numerous patrons. Mr. McCoy doubled the size of the dining room, added an annex containing twenty-six sleeping rooms, and built a cottage of four rooms, thus increasing the number of rooms in the hotel to 75. He also erected the octagonal springhouse and a bathhouse of three rooms, besides making "many other substantial improvements."
The water from the Spring was analyzed by a Boston chemist who stated that it contained "carbonate of soda, magnesia and lime, chloride of sodium and potassium, sulphate of lime, oxide of iron and alumina, sulphur, organic matter, carbonic acid." The following is a direct quote from a booklet advertising the Hotel and the Mineral Springs:
"Thousands can testify today of the value of the Bradford Spring Water as the best medicine in use for Cutaneous Diseases. It has been particularly successful in Exzema or Salt Rheum. In Erysipelas and Scrofula Humors, it has no equal. It has cured many of the worst forms of nasal catarrh; the same is true of catarrah of the stomach and bowels (Mucous diarrhea), also catarrh of the mucous membranes of the gall-ducts, bladder, throat, bronchial tubes, etc. In rheumatism and malaria it has been used with great success. In dyspepsia or indigestion the effect is wonderful. Those that have not been able to eat or drink for months without being distressed, in a few days could eat most any kind of food with a relish and without suffering. It is a very efficient diuretic when the kidneys are inactive or urine suppressed by congestion. It works like a charm upon all diseases of the bladder. For inflammation of the eyes, weak eyes, granulated eyelids, the Bradford Spring water is an infallible remedy. There is a bathhouse near the spring affording the opportunity to all who wish to take hot or cold sulphur baths."
Mr. McCoy continued to operate the Hotel only a few years after the turn of the century. He was followed by one or two others, including a Mr. Lunt, but the enterprise was not longer profitable financially and the property stood idle for a long time. Eventually, Mr. Lunt sold the furnishings at auction and had the buildings torn down by a wrecking company to avoid further payment of taxes. The only remaining structure was the octagonal Spring House, even the lake was gone. Today the passing motorist would have no hint of the popular resort that once flourished there.
An article printed in a local newspaper in 1977 shows that the Spring House still remained at the location. In the late 1970's or early 1980's, Bob Bristol purchased the building and brought it back to Muster Field Farm where he restored it to the condition you see it in today.