Date on Senior Honors Thesis


Document Type

Senior Honors Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

College of Arts and Sciences

Author's Keywords

Kentucky mineral spring resorts; Medical trends; land use


This project is an archaeological reconnaissance survey of 12 historic mineral spring resorts of Kentucky. The objective of this research is to assess the archaeological potential of these sites, and to provide an archaeological perspective on 19th and early 20th century Kentucky health care in relation to the use of opiates, as well as the evolution of land use in relation to preservation of features and artifacts associated with the resort hotel era. Compared to the number of sites in the state (71), very little archaeological investigation of mineral spring resorts has been conducted. The importance of these sites to Kentucky's early tourist economy, lifeways, and culture makes them an excellent area of study for local, regional, and national historical trends. Following an extensive literature review on Kentucky's 19th century health resorts, a 17% sample of the total sites mentioned in the literature (N=71), were selected for reconnaissance survey, consisting of location and mapping of any original features, as well as newer features which may be superimposed over the resort era landscape. Any associated artifacts were photographed and entered into a field notes database.