Halstead Spring Water

The Legend of Halstead Spring Water

Trailblazers, Prospectors and Bottled Spring Water

iStock_000020089228XSmallThe history of Halstead Spring Water is a tale of two hardy explorers, born a century apart, who stretched the western boundaries of the United States.

Halstead Spring Water bottles natural mountain spring water from a source in the Powell River Valley area of the Cumberland Mountains. This same valley forms a natural passage in the Appalachian Mountains called the Cumberland Gap.

In 1750, Virginia explorer Dr. Thomas Walker documented this gap in the Cumberlands, and in 1775, Daniel Boone blazed the trail known as The Wilderness Road. By the dawn of the 19th century, thousands of settlers had established new communities west of the Appalachians. Kentucky and Tennessee were added to the Union, and the United States stretched to the Mississippi River.

It was during this time, around 1790, that the present town of Speedwell, Tennessee – home to Halstead Spring Water – was settled near the Cumberland Gap.

About a hundred years later, Marshall E. Halstead left his home in Gasport, NY, on the banks of the Erie Canal and headed for the Klondike. He wrote a letter to the editor of the Lockport (NY) Daily Journal which ran in the November 30, 1897 issue, describing the life of a prospector on the overland trail through Montana and Idaho.

Halstead invited young men from the Niagara Falls area of New York who “have $500 to spare and think they have weak lungs, come out here and form a partnership. In a years (sic) time I will guarantee they will have neither lungs nor lack of money.”

Halstead did indeed form a partnership – with his young bride Jonie Kunkel. They married in 1898 and gave birth to a child on an Indian reservation near Virginia City, Montana in the spring of 1901. The young family immediately went back to the wilderness to continue prospecting. When bitter winds came in October, Marshall and Jonie Halstead moved into a small cabin for shelter. That first night in their new home, the infant girl Grace cried until about midnight. That’s when Marshall Halstead took her outside and bedded down with her next to a fallen tree. The baby had never slept under a roof before.

That baby, Grace, was the matriarch of the Halstead Spring Water family.

When the Halstead family acquired land in the Cumberland Gap region of East Tennessee, they discovered a mountain spring that bubbled with pure, clear water. To honor the memory of their ancestor, this spring was dubbed “Cold Spring” – after Cold Springs, New York, near the town where Marshall Halstead grew up.

Folks all around the Cumberland Gap knew “Cold Spring” put forth the best tasting water anyone could find for years. In 1989, Halstead Springs Bottling Company began to share this pure spring water with the rest of the world. In 2000, judges at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting confirmed what locals have known for years: Halstead Spring Water is the best tasting water on the planet.