A Hotel is Being Built

The March 1889 Colchester Independent reported that a hotel was to be built at Vishnu "to accommodate those who wish to try the healing qualities of the mineral water at that place." The paper also reported that a 26 X 40 ft. hotel would have first class conveniences, and would be built at a cost of $2,500. The road from the springs to the main road to the north was already in place and the stonework for the hotel would commence soon. W.E. Way was foreman of the Vishnu rock quarry, which was owned by Hicks and John Mourning, a man to whom Hicks had sold interest in Vishnu. It was later reported that the stone in the quarry was of such a fine quality that men would like to use it when they built their new homes at Vishnu.

Men Who Built Vishnu

A June 1889 newspaper article announced that the stonework for the hotel was done and the frame was being put up. Tom Walters and his wife would run the hotel, once completed. The roof was then put on, and Enoch Way had contracted to do the plaster work at a rate of 10 cents/yard. Four hundred visitors had recently been out to the Springs.

In 1889, Darius met and married his second wife, Hattie Rush, a widower from Missouri and mother of three young children, Robert, Benjamin, and Maud. Hattie was not a very healthy woman and probably came to the springs for their curative powers. In August 1890, the Colchester Independent reported that: "Mrs. Hicks, wife of Darius Hicks, proprietor of Vishnu hotel, is lying very low, but hopes of her recovery are entertained by her many friends." Hattie died in 1896 from an illness of several months from a complication of diseases, one of which was reported to be Bright's disease, an older name for a form of kidney disease.

In August, 1889 a Holiness Camp Meeting, held at Vishnu, drew 2000-3000 visitors. The event was led by Rev. Sherman & Rev. Thompson of Colchester, and Taylor Murray, Hire township. They obviously came to share in the experiences of their religious beliefs, but probably many also came to see the new hotel which was nearing completion. Others probably came to partake of the medicinal qualities of the springs, the central focus of the site.

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