Denham Springs History

By Jeanne Burns - bio | email

All you have to do is a little historical digging to find that Denham Springs is a city built on the quest for health and education.

The health part had to do with the mineral springs that were discovered by the city's namesake when he settled the area in 1827. William Denham found springs on his property located between the Amite River and River Road. It's a discovery that would create quite a boom for the area in the years to come.

People are said to have fled the yellow fever outbreaks in other areas to the springs, believing the water from them contained some magic that might keep them from getting sick. Several health resorts were even built close to the springs where visitors could stay and the community grew up around that.

Around the turn of the century though, it was education that drew people to the area. The Denham Springs Collegiate Institute was founded in 1895 and is said to have been such a fine school that it attracted students and boarders from miles around.

The four-year institution was financed by tuition paid by students from Denham Springs and neighboring communities and the board of directors was able to attract teachers from as far away as Virginia. In 1908, the board signed the property over to the public school system and a new chapter of education was born in Denham Springs.

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved.