Ebbing and Flowing Spring
is a spring
located in Hawkins County, Tennessee
, near Rogersville
, that is one of only two known springs
in the world to exhibit tidal
Discovery of the spring
The spring is located on land that belonged to the father-in-law
of Rogersville's Founder
, Joseph Rogers
, named Colonel Thomas Amis
The spring was called Sinking Spring in a land grant given to Amis by the General Assembly of North Carolina for his service in the American Revolution. Amis settled the area around 1780, and his fort-like house sits only a few tenths of a mile away from where the spring is today.
After the spring's peculiar behavior began to become more widely known, it was renamed Ebbing and Flowing Spring, which precisely describes the phenomenon that the spring exhibits.
Unique scientific marvel
Ebbing and Flowing Spring is one of only two known springs in the world to exhibit tidal
characteristics with a predictable regularity.
During a period of 2 hours and 47 minutes, the spring's flow ranges from an indiscernible trickle to 500 gallons per minute. Unlike thermal springs that produce warm water, the water in Ebbing and Flowing Spring maintains a constant temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit.
This phenomenon is not understood, but has it generated much speculation. The spring was credited with having extraordinary powers in matters of the heart by the citizens of nearby Rogersville
Townspeople claimed that any couple drinking from the spring at the peak of its flow would marry within the year. Some legends suggest that the spring's power was first discovered by Rogersville founder Joseph Rogers, who was said to have drunk from the spring with his beloved, Mary Amis, who soon after became -- despite her father's initial disapproval -- Mary Rogers.
Visiting the spring
The spring is privately owned by descendants of Thomas Amis
(pronounced Amy), but it is open to the public. Local tourism agencies maintain directions and brochures about the spring.
- Goodspeed, History of East Tennessee. (Knoxville: 1887).
- Price, Henry, Old Rogersville: An Illustrated History of Rogersville, Tennessee. Vol. I. (Rogersville: 2001).
- Price, Henry, Hawkins County: A Pictorial History. (Rogersville: 1996).