The town springs were on the Ira Roods property in 1898. In 1909, the springs were sold to Leslie A. Cook, who developed them and bottled the mineral water. The bottling plant was in operation in the early part of the 20th century. The spring water was favored because of its extreme effervescence. The photo dates to 1914.
The area around exit 16 of the Northway in Wilton has been known as Gurn Springs since the turn of the twentieth century. Before this it was known as Emerson’s Corners and before this as Kent. In 1818, the first town meeting was held in the Emerson Tavern at the corner of what are now Ballard Road and North Road. The only hint of the former tavern is an historic marker as you make the turn into the Target complex. Local legend states that the Palmertown Indians of the 1600’s traveled to use the spring water for stomach ailments. Did they suffer from stress as we do?
The sparkling water was bottled in the early nineteen hundreds and flavors were added to make Root Beer, Buck Beer and Sarsparilla.
Research for the name “Gurn” only finds a man who was a successful land developer. The owner of the land was a Mr. Roods, who sold it to Mr. Cook. Mr. Cook was the business owner and distributer. Why the name Gurn Spring prevails?
The spring is located along the Snook (Snoek) Kill in back of the Wilton Town complex. A path was constructed a few years ago but has not been completed. The creative idea of the Gurn Spring Park has been in the works since the Bicentennial in 1976. Violet Dunn, the Saratoga County Historian, at the time, spent years trying to accomplish her dream, and she’s probably smiling down on our ongoing attempts to accomplish her goal.