Mineral Springs has been a healing place for the inhabitants of this section of the Tennessee River Valley for eons. In the early 1800s, Chief Iuka, of the Chickasaw, had been suffering from chronic ailments for many years, his tribal healers unable to help him, when he heard of the magical healing waters. Carried by his followers to the springs, the Chief drank the waters and quickly regained his health. He moved his family to the area and never left. His experience was well known to people up and down the valley.
By 1840 there was a substantial settlement of white pioneers who followed the lead of Chief Iuka and a town was born. In 1856, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad came through the area, highly influenced by the popularity of the Mineral Springs. Unfortunately, this also made Iuka a target for Union armies during the Civil War and three large battles were fought. Both armies camped in the Mineral Springs area in different times and the story of Mineral Springs was spread far and wide.
After the Civil War, the Mineral Springs became a popular retreat from the ravages of Yellow Fever. Pavilions and a magnificent hotel were built. Trains arrived from New York and Washington with loads of tourists who enjoyed the big bands of the era and the evening strolls among the gaslights of the park. In 1904, the World's Fair in St. Louis awarded the Mineral Springs Park first prize among all entrants of mineral water. Talk abounded of plans for a bottled water concession.
Alas, World War One ended everything ...no bottled water, no big band concerts, no trains from Washington and very little enthusiasm among the populace for idle pastimes like "taking the waters". The hotel burned and the park gradually decayed from neglect, even to the point where the springs failed to flow because of the buildup of mineral deposits. During the 1960s, talk began about a restoration of the springs, but it took a concerted effort during the 1970s by the Iuka Lions club to make things happen. Matching grants from federal and state programs helped bring the park back to life. Playground equipment, benches, a bandstand and other improvements were added. The springs were partially restored. A historic "dogtrot" log cabin was relocated to the springs and restored. The Covered Bridge has been maintained in good condition.
There is a Memorial Circle dedicated to Veterans and POWs with etched plaques.