Healing, romancing, dunking for 200 years at Sulphur Spring

Belief in the benefits one could gain by drinking from Sulphur Spring prompted the growth of Delaware as a resort town in the 1830s, and it’s said that Rutherford B. Hayes, who would become the 19th U.S. president, met future first lady Lucy Webb at the spring. In the 1920s (top) and into the middle of the 20th century, freshmen were routinely dunked in the spring if caught without their dink (beanie cap). Today the steps and seating area around the spring have changed little, but the spring is capped and the mineral-rich water rarely flows. Below, a class of first-year students meets at the site.

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