Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
|Parish||East Baton Rouge|
|Elevation||53.84 ft (16.4 m) |
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
In the 1850s, Robert W. Greenwell purchased land in the area of what is now known as Greenwell Springs and began developing the area into a rural resort that was built around 10 medicinal springs. Despite the springs being in close proximity to each other, each spring was said to have very different and distinct mineral properties from the others. It was believed that this indicated the springs each came from different levels beneath the ground.
The resort area became known as the Greenwell Springs Hotel, and was used during the Civil War as a headquarters and staging area by Confederate General John Breckinridge. Prior to the Battle of Baton Rouge in April 1862, Breckinridge's forces marched west to attack Union forces that had occupied the city. After the battle, Confederate forces retreated back to the Greenwell Springs Hotel and used it was a hospital for wounded troops. Both Union and Confederate troops were buried on the grounds of the hotel in unmarked graves. During the war, Robert W. Greenwell joined the Confederate Army, and served as a captain. He was the commander of the East Baton Rouge Guards which was then Company F, 3rd Louisiana Cavalry, during the Battle of Port Hudson.
After the war, most of the resort village known as Greenwell Springs, as well as the Greenwell Springs Hotel, was torn down. The lumber from these buildings was used to help rebuild structures in Baton Rouge that had been damaged or destroyed during the war. In 1910, a new Greenwell Springs Hotel was built on the site of the old hotel. A new springhouse was built at the same time as the new hotel. A short time after construction was completed, the springs stopped flowing. The loss of the springs was believed to be because the mouths of the springs were opened too wide which resulted in a loss of water pressure. With the absence of the springs, the new hotel soon lost appeal and was closed down. In 1920, the Greenwell Springs Hotel burned down. The State of Louisiana later bought the property to use as a tuberculosis hospital and eventually as a mental hospital known as Greenwell Springs Hospital. It was during this time that the springs began to flow again.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Greenwell Springs has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.