Home » Uncategorized » Sailor Springs School, Sailor Springs, IL

Sailor Springs School, Sailor Springs, IL



Sailor Springs School

County Rd. 1850E

Sailor Springs, IL

Sailor Springs is a village tucked away in the west-central portion of Clay County in the middle of the farmlands in the southeastern portion of Illinois. Sailor Springs is about 30 miles southeast of Effingham and five and a half miles north of Clay City. The town is home to natural springs that are said to have healing powers.  In an earlier day the springs’ very peculiar water was thought to be the cause of “milk-sick” and so the stock was fenced from the springs. In 1869 Mrs. Thomas M. Sailor of Ohio bought the land—four hundred acres—containing the springs. Mr. Sailor had the water tested and found it contained health-giving properties. In the later 1800’s, it became a booming spring bath resort town.  In the 1870s and 80s the springs were liberally patronized as a summer resort. Two big hotels with fifty rooms each were often crowded while scores and perhaps hundreds lived in tents upon the beautiful grounds.  Illuminating gas was gathered from the springs and it was thought that it could be made of real value about the hotels. But in 1917, the iconic Glendale Hotel burned down, effectively sealing the end of the prospering community.  As businesses moved out, many of the residents did too. Today, Sailor Springs is a mostly-abandoned town, and there are fewer than 100 people living in Sailor Springs. And many of the houses have fallen into decay.  Sailor Springs School, situated on the Dieterich Blacktop just south of County Highway 3,, was a two-year high school which likely began in the early 1900s, possibly as late as the early 1920s. It was probably closed in the late 1940s. Students could complete a third year at Clay City High School, which, at that time, was only a 3-year high school.  Then they could attend their fourth year at Flora High after that.  The kids of Sailor Springs today attend school in nearby Clay City as part of the Clay City School District.


4 thoughts on “Sailor Springs School, Sailor Springs, IL

  1. I am very interested in obtaining more history. I actually have recently purchased a cabinet believed to have came out of the Glendale hotel & bath house in Sailor Springs. Can you tell me this information can possibly be true?

  2. Very Interesting. I’m part of the Walter Gray Weaver family that lived there and attempting to dig in more on what life was like there for the Weavers up from 1900 to 1940’s. Believe my relative Floyd Clifton Weaver was an eduator there, assume either grade school or highschool. My Aunt Beryl wrote a book on Sailor Springs which have been attempting to get ahold of.

    Gary Younse

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