Do not follow our GPS it will take you on gravel roads.
Indian folklore dating from early 1800's and earlier, relate many interesting facts of early Sycamore Springs history. Many Indian Tribes were known to use the mineral water for healing purposes. Early Indians used airtight wigwarms and mineral water poured over hot rocks for sweat baths.
By the early 1800's many settlers were moving westward and one of their important water stops was Sycamore Springs. John Brown and James Lane, early Kansas Free Staters, spent time in the area. The Springs known then as Plymouth Springs was one of several towns organized by Lane. A fort, built by James Lane, was located nearby.
By 1880, the mineral water and beautiful picnic areas were becoming well known and a large 60-room wood framed hotel building was built. Sycamore Springs, by 1886, had become widely known as an outstanding health resort of the Midwest. A five story stone hotel was also built which contained all the latest conveniences and modern hospital facilities. Both buildings were destroyed by fire in 1916. The present hotel was rebuilt using the stone walls left from the fire in the early 1920's.
Besides the hotel and hospital facilities, Sycamore Springs once had a post office, general store, barber shop and pop bottling plant.
In Brown county are situated several interesting groups of springs. At Springs post-office, five miles northwest of Morrill, six miles northeast of Sabetha, at the crossing of the St. J. & G. I. and the C. R. I. & P. railroads, and nine miles south of Salem, Neb., are located the Sycamore springs. They are in the valley of the Sycamore, a stream which runs north into the Nemaha river, and in the midst of some of the finest farming land in the state. The valley here is well wooded, many of the trees being large and evidently of great age.
The owner and proprietor was E. V. Kauffman, who has expended perhaps $2500 in rendering the springs more convenient of access and in improving the property. There is a frame hotel 24x60, three stories high, with accomodations for twentyfive guests. In this hotel is the post-office, dining-room, bathrooms, with facilities for giving hot and cold baths, sweat baths, etc. There have also been erected two cottages, a refreshment stand, and livery barn, and the grounds have been cleared of underbrush, so that there is a very convenient space for those who prefer living in tents.