More than a hundred years ago, those in need of some rest and relaxation would often travel to Creal Springs.
To explain, we have to go back to 1720
At the time, mineral-rich spring waters were discovered in the area which led to small communities growing around them.
According to the Williamson County Historical Society, in the late 1800’s multiple buildings once stood near the springs as hotels and resorts where guests could bathe in their natural healing powers.
One of those being Ozark Hotel, which was a three story building made of brick with 75 rooms. Within the hotel guests would commonly use the game room, the bar, and would go dancing near the pavilion.
Using the “healing water” from the Springs, the hotel owners would even bottle the water and sell it.
Those with the historical society say, the mineral springs were said to be an attraction for veterans of the Civil War and at one time accounted for 10% of the Creal Springs population.
In 1903, the community eventually voted the city dry, which slowed tourism.
Then several of the resort hotels had fires and other misfortunes including the OzarkHotel.
It burned down in 1915 and was resurrected as a two story, 50 room, brick building in 1919. But the change did not draw tourist back.
The rebuilt Ozark Hotel resort later closed in 1928 and was demolished 10 years later.
Now, the Williamson County Historical Society has taken the hotel’s historic glory and placed a marker to remember it and the other resorts that once promised guests healing waters.
The historical marker is located at at Dippy Motsinger Memorial Park in Creal Springs and is the second officially sanctioned Illinois State Historical Society marker in the county.