The Return of Heyday

We often talk about the heyday of Red Boiling Springs. “Heyday” describes those plentiful days in the 1920s and 1930s when our little town was beaming with tourists and activity. The origin of the word heyday goes back to the 14th century word: “heyda”, which meant a time of success and vigor. That certainly describes the streets of Red Boiling Springs “back in the day” – the heyday.

Vision 2020 Inc does not want to just talk about the heyday of our community. We want to bring back a successful measure of that former vigor. Heyday is also akin to the German word: “heida”, which was an exclamation of elation or wonder. The task that Vision 2020 has undertaken (to restore the old RBS Bank building to its heyday and to gather the stories and artifacts that preserve her heritage) is our happy pleasure. Sharing the wonder of our hometown with all who come far and wide is why we continue in our pursuits.

The resort at Red Boiling Springs experienced a long summer of prosperity in the years between the World Wars. People vacationing there whiled away the day bowling, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, or relaxing on the
hotels’ porches. The resort was even more lively at night, with entertainment ranging from the “big band” orchestra at the Palace Hotel to the country music played by string bands at local taverns. Evangelists saw potential converts in the guests at the resort and arranged huge camp meetings. Even the Depression
had little impact on the resort’s business, and the people of Red Boiling Springs had every cause to expect the decade of the 1940s to be equally prosperous.

Early in the 1920s Red Boiling Springs underwent a real estate boom. By 1924, there were six large hotels: the Cloyd, the Donoho, the Arlington, the Moss, the Red Boiling Springs and the Palace. Typically, these hotels had
between 50 and 60 rooms. There were at least nine boarding houses: the T. S. Joines, Hudson, Gaines, Davis, Whitley, Miller, C. C. Joines, Missouri, and Jordan Houses. Boarding houses usually had rooms for 10 to 30 people, although some of these establishments were large enough to qualify as small hotels. In addition, some townspeople rented spare bedrooms during busy summer seasons.
(page 35, Simples Pleasures)*

October is Vision 2020’s anniversary month. What began in 2009 as coffee conversations among a few local business owners and citizens has grown into a non-profit organization that markets the charms of Red Boiling Springs by hosting events reminiscent of her heyday.  The Covid-19 Pandemic has necessitated cancelling several events in 2020. We are already looking forward and planning for 2021 – the annual community Easter Egg Hunt, the Folk Medicine Festival, the Red Pump Café, the Cathy & Troy Johnson 5K Walk/Run, the annual Ice Cream Social and Auction. Be sure and keep an eye on our Facebook pages and our website for information on 2021 happenings.

Until then . . . here is what is left for 2020:

October 22nd – the next On-Line Live Auction to benefit the restoration work on the old bank building. Check out the items up for bid at

October 27th – Vision 2020 Annual Meeting – come learn more about Vision 2020.  More information on the meeting to come soon.

October 31st – community Trunk ‘n Treat on Market Street in downtown RBS – benefits the 37150 Community Center

November 21st – final Red Pump Café for 2020. Special guest: Karen McCormick.

December 5th – RBS Nighttime Christmas Parade

*To learn more about the heyday of Red Boiling Springs, you are encouraged to purchase a copy of “Simple Pleasures: A History of the Resort at Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee” by Dr. Jeanette Keith. The book is available at the Step Back in Time Shop. All sales of this book benefit the restoration fund of the old bank building.  The shop is currently opened Fridays, Noon to 5pm and Saturdays, 10am to 2pm.

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