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Sunday, March 02, 2008

At one time, Panacea really was a 'panacea'

Published 3/1/2008
Panacea wasn't named Panacea without good reason. In the late 1890s, the community was looking for a name in order to establish a post office. W.C. Tulley, a local resident, reasoned that, since the community was fortunate enough to have bubbling spring water that could cure all that ails ya', the word "panacea," meaning cure-all, was the perfect choice.

During the early 1900s, people came from throughout the country and even a few places in Europe to experience the healing powers of Panacea's mineral springs. Some of the spring-fed pools were labeled with the ailments they could ease, such as Arthritis Springs and Liver Springs. And that's why you came. To soak in the soothing waters of a community that is officially recognized as a "cure-all."

Remnants of the springs remain in Panacea, but gone are the boardwalks, covered pavilions and historic hotels. The springs no longer flow like they used to, and the mineral springs area today is hardly noticeable to passersby, except for a sign at a park-like place across from the Wakulla Welcome Center on U.S. Highway 98. The property is privately owned, and an effort is being made to re-establish the site as a cultural heritage attraction.
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