Scott County Historical
Scott County, Virginia
Mildred McConnell's Scrapbook Articles
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Hale's Spring-Interesting Place
Spring, near Midway Elementary School, is by all means the largest spring
in Scott County. The enormous amount of water from this spring doesn't
appear to flow out of the earth – it bubbles straight up from below as
if it were a giant artesian well or a mammoth fountain hurrying to escape
from intense internal pressure.
would take a pipe of 18 or 20 inches in diameter to carry all the water
magnificent spring of crystal clear water. It is said the flow is
unaffected either by a prolonged drought or a week's downpour of rain.
The writer of this sketch once asked Captain Drayton S. Hale concerning
the effects of a drought or a flood on this spring. Captain, as I
remember his words, said, "Sonny, this spring acts much like the Gulf
Stream: In the mightiest floods it never overflows and in the severest
droughts its volume never diminishes."
Hale, who died in 1915, was a remarkable man. He was one of two men in
Scott County who voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The other was C. D.
Vermillion, a cousin of Captain Hale.
S. Hale was postmaster at Hale's Mill for years. He was a well read, well
educated man for his day - a man of vision interested in public affairs
throughout his long life. He had a splendid library and was a lover of
Hale operated a corn mill using the water from his spring branch to turn
the wheel. He
operated this mill for years, but in 1897 he decided to divert , Copper
Creek and build bigger mills when he got more water power. He, therefore,
undertook digging a tunnel through the dogtail, a hill of limestone about
300 or 350 feet through, extending to Copper Creek thereby forming an
elbow bend in the creek. The tunnel digging was all done by hand. The crew
of workers was never more than two or three at a time - two used pick,
shovel, dynamite and black powder - the third operated a wheelbarrow to
move the stone and dirt outside. The project was finished in seven years.
A dam was built across Copper Creek and its mighty waters came roaring
the additional water
Captain operated a sawmill, a corn and wheat mill and a rock crusher.
Hale kept the spring and brook well stocked with speckled trout and of
these finny friends he was exceedingly proud.
Hale home, located near the big spring, was torn down some years ago and
Garden, a suburb of Kingsport, Tennessee.
It was built again in the image of the original building.
old mill houses are gone without a trace. Nothing is left of the dam of
Copper Creek except the bottom log - there it is today easily seen through
the clear water of that fine mountain stream.
site of the mills is now covered with tall timbers reaching for the light
- some of them cedars, sycamores, poplars, sourwoods, walnuts and oaks
straight as arrows without a branch for forty feet or more.
of Captain Hale's sons, Nathan Hale moved to Knoxville and was elected
to Congress from the Second Tennessee District. A grandson of the
Congressman is a famous sculptor living in New York. He recently visited
in Scott County.
Cabot Hale carries the American heritage of democratic values and
humanistic responsibilities into the arts. He is known as a leading figure
sculptor working in the "Family of Man" tradition begun by
Auguste Rodin and Gustav Vigeland. He has also pioneered in the
development of the new sculpture medium of welded bronze. In addition to
this he writes on aesthetics, has taught at one of the leading art
schools, done movie and book illustration, and even designed sets for
the theater. He is now working on his own long-range project for a sculpture
park built on the theme of "The Ages of Man."
Hale has had successful one-man shows in New York, Chicago, and Los
Angeles. He has executed distinguished portrait commissions, done architectural
bronzes. His works have been exhibited in leading museums, art centers and
galleries throughout this country, including: Group Shows: Carlebach
Gallery 1946, Roko Gallery 19481950, Jacques Seligmann Gallery
(Bernhardt crystal) 19581960, Terrain Gallery 1959, Feingarten Galleries
(Chicago, New York) 1960-1961, East Hampton Gallery 1961.