Kelly Springs



Kelly Springs a long time Landmark

Long before the white man, the spring has served as a center of many encampments.  The Cherokee and Creek Indians used this area as proof of large qualities of arrow heads and potteries have been found.

The spring which has a flow of 1.25 million gallons of water in 24 hours, was purchase from Midland City by Byrd Kelly around the turn of the century.  In 1902 my Grandfather, F. M. Gaines, Sr., camped at the site when he first moved to Dothan from Milltown, Chambers County, Alabama.

The spring was damned up for a swimming area about 1904.  Many people have fond memories of renting cottages for camping in the early years of operation.  The Kelly’s operated the pool until Mr. Kelly’s death in 1955.  During WWII the facility was leased to Napier Field for a NCO Club, where the Army Air Force made many other improvements.

Mr. “Red” Thomas had been interested in the area since his Boy Scout troop camped there in the ‘30’s.  He bought the pool property and opened it in 1956.

Many improvements were made; the creek was re-routed to make room for a larger pool, 50x85.  He cleared more area, added walkways, built a new picnic area and repaired the pavilion.

The Thomas family operated the recreation area until it closed after the 1970 season.

The property was sold to the BBM, Blumburg, Brewton, Marley, corporation in 1982, which still owns the property as of 2007.

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