Side A: Near this site in 1879, J.E. Newhouse discovered a magnetic spring in his park, Green Bend Gardens. It was found that a knife blade dipped in the water could pick up small metal objects like a magnet. The spring became known for its curative powers and was advertised as a treatment for ailments including rheumatism, gout, insomnia, and diseases of the kidneys, bladder, and nerves. To share the health-giving water, Mr. Newhouse opened the Magnetic Bath House, which became famous for its water cures. To reach a larger market, the magnetic water was sterilized and bottled and sold under the Magnetic Springs label. Advances in medicine after World War II led to the decline in the popularity of mineral baths.
Side B: Incorporated in 1883, Magnetic Springs became a resort town and was visited by up to 10,000 guests in the summer months. Visitation increased upon the introduction of the interurban in 1903, known as the Columbus, Magnetic Springs and Northern Railway Company, which ran to Richwood and Columbus. An amusement park, Maple Dell, offered boating, horseback riding, golfing, and fishing. Several hotels, including the Ballard Hotel, Dr. J.F. Conrad Hotel, Incor Hotel, and Park Hotel, offering unique entertainment and furnished with bathhouses, operated in the town’s heyday. The Park Hotel was converted into the Magnetic Spring Polio Clinic, which closed after an effective polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s. The Ohio State University and Purdue football teams stayed and trained at the Park on weekends. The last of the hotels in town were destroyed by fire or razed in the 1980s.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Leesburg Township Trustees, Village of Magnetic Springs, and The Ohio Historical Society