STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A property that was once the old Ramsey Springs Hotel on Highway 15 in Stone County holds many happy memories for those who spent time there. Now 50 years after the hotel was torn down, the land is about to again be a place for people to enjoy themselves. On Sunday, a non- profit held a ceremony to mark a new chapter for the historic property.
It's been gone for decades, but many people in Stone County still have vivid memories of the Ramsey Springs Hotel.
Daysha Walker is a historian at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and a native of the Ramsey Springs community.
"It was a beautiful place," said Walker. "You could go canoeing and fishing and enjoy Red Creek. It also had this wonderful mineral springs which was very, very popular during that time period. And so, people literally from all over the world would come here."
A federal grant enabled the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain to buy 57 acres of land that surrounded the hotel. The non-profit wants people to again be able to enjoy the famous springs.
"So we will do restoration around the springs," said Director Judy Steckler. "The springs have a very important role in the history of the site because many people they feel they had healing powers. They are mineral springs so lots of stories are in the community about people coming to visit the springs and sit in the swimming pool."
The restoration will have a major environmental impact. Officials said by planting long leaf pines they'll provide habitat for endangered species, improve the quality of the area's ground water and more.
Jimmy Mordica of the DeSoto Ranger District said, "you hear about the greenhouse gases and global warming. Well, long leaf pine has been around for hundreds of years and they're real good at sequestering carbon. It takes carbon out of the air and gives us fresh oxygen to breathe."
Officials said once some work has been done, they look forward to welcoming people to visit here again like in the old days.
"One of the other things we're going to do is restore the kayak canoe launch so they can actually utilize the creek, have access to it," Steckler said. "So if you can experience these activities then you want to protect it. Our youth will have good memories and they too will be working to protect our land. We'll have clean water and clean air for many generations to come."
The Land Trust For the Mississippi Coastal Plain also plans to develop walking trails along the property.