by Connie Curry
At one time Dry Ridge had places of interest that today would be considered real tourist attractions. One of these was the big poplar tree that grew near the Baptist Church in the early 1800's. It was nine feet in diameter and a noted object for many years. When the tree was cut down in 1831, Mr. Philip S. Bush, then a candidate for the legislature, rode horseback along one side of the tree and could barely reach the top of the trunk as it lay on the ground. The presence of large timber and heavy growth of spice bushes in this area indicated that the soil around Dry Ridge was remarkably fertile.
The mineral Springs would be another attraction. When the wells used to be open, people came from all over the United States to take the mineral baths for their health. These visitors stayed at the Carlsbad Hotel where the baths were taken. The mineral water was also bottled and shipped to many other places. The bottling was done at the place where Pat Curry now runs a garage. The strongest well, called the “mother well,” was under a red brick building on Michigan Avenue, one under what is now a Southern States store, and another behind Rash's grocery. The main well of the mineral springs was closed after a drunk man accidentally knocked something into it one night. Later the springs went dry, and all the wells were closed. The Carlsbad Hotel was converted into a dwelling, but burned down in 1927.
Other places of interest would include illegal whiskey stills and the haunted houses, I do not know much about the stills, but my grandmother lived in a house that was supposedly haunted. A woman who had lived there long ago murdered her husband about eight o'clock one morning. For a time, my grandmother would hear a knock at the door each morning at eight o'clock, but could not find anyone at the door. The knocking ceased when my grandfather went to the door. This seemed to break the spell.
From a collection of essays written in American Literature Eleven. The class was taught by Ms. Hazel Ogden of Grant County High School in the 1963-1964 school year, and was typed by the typing classes of Mrs. Mattie Cox. It is copyrighted by the Grant County Schools, and is used here with their kind permission. We found a copy in UK's King Library.