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History | Amenities | State Park Features | Local Attractions | Guest Info

History

Snuggled into a backdrop of stately oaks and rolling scenic hills, Spring Mill Inn has been one of Southern Indiana's best kept secrets for over 60 years. Spring Mill Inn is located in one of Mother Nature's most beautiful settings; Spring Mill State Park. Literally hundreds of thousands of travelers have dined at our tables, slept peacefully in our beds and snuggled up with a good book around our fireplace.

The construction of the Spring Mill Inn began with the clearing of the site in 1936. In 1937, members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC's) brought in native Indiana limestone from quarries in nearby Stonington. The limestone was used to build stone walls, laying the foundation work of today's wondrous structure. The CCC's were under the supervision of the Indiana Conservation Department Engineers Henry H. Morgan and Henry Prange. Before its completion two years later, however, there were several obstacles to overcome.

Original construction of Spring Mill InnFinancial consideration was one of the early obstacles. The State of Indiana did not have sufficient funds to build Spring Mill Inn as designed, so its east wing was deleted from the original design. Financing was finally obtained when the State of Indiana sold huge quantities of sand to the City of Chicago, IL to use as fill material following it's World's Fair. This money was dedicated for the Spring Mill Inn project. Construction bids were submitted several times and the Whittenburg Construction Company of Louisville, KY was finally awarded the marvelous task of constructing Spring Mill Inn on the CCC's foundation.

Located in cavernous Southern Indiana, a small cave was discovered beneath one of the proposed wings, presenting yet another obstacle. Deep pilings had to be poured for support that was necessary to straddle the cave, measuring some 15 by 29 feet. Cooling this monstrous building was yet another obstacle. Early considerations were to pump cool air, from nearby Donaldson Cave, to cool the Inn. This did not materialize, as it was feared the damp air might contribute to excessive moisture and mildew in the structure. Air conditioning was added to the Spring Mill Inn in mid 1960's.

The original architectural design called for the building to be built of logs, so that it may blend with the Pioneer Village. A second, and more feasible design was later agreed upon using native Indiana Limestone on the façade of the building. The exterior structure remains essentially the same today as it did when it was completed in 1939. In 1976, a major renovation added a wing of 29 sleeping rooms, which was similar to the original East Wing deleted early in the project, a large conference room overlooking Spring Mill Lake, and an indoor-outdoor pool.

When Spring Mill Inn officially opened in 1939; Myron L. Rees was appointed its first manager. The dedication ceremony included such distinguished guests as Governor Clifford Townsend, Colonel Richard Lieber, State Representative E. Y. Guernsey, U.S. Congressman Eugene B. Crowe and State Entomologist Frank Wallace. Representatives from numerous local civic groups and neighboring conservation departments were present as well as the leadership of the Indian Conservation Departments. As "Father of the Indiana Park System", Colonel Lieber was an especially honored guest for his considerable effort in the creation of Spring Mill State Park.

The cost of the most expensive room, which included three meals, was $7.50 a day in 1939, and admission to the park was 10 cents per person. Many guests arrived by bus or train from Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati and were met at the depot by the Inn's station wagon, which was also available to transport them to a nearby church on Sunday. The Inn also had rental cabins that were available to guests who wished to 'rough it' in the great outdoors. The first year, from July through December there were 8,000 overnight guests who had registered at the Inn. Overall yearly attendance to Spring Mill State Park in 1939 was 189,000 visitors.

Today, Spring Mill Inn remains one of the focal points for vacationers in Southern Indiana. Seated in the midst of 1,300 beautiful acres, a visitor truly has endless opportunities they can explore; they can eat a scrumptious meal, swim in one of two pools, visit a restored Pioneer Village with working Grist Mill, take a boat ride into Twin Caves, participate in a nature program, hike on one of the numerous trails, explore Donaldson Cave, fish in Spring Mill Lake, or just sit back in front of a roaring fireplace and leave the rush of the everyday world behind them.

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Amenities

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State Park Features

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Local Attractions

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Day Trip Opportunities:
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Guest Info


Welcome to YOUR Indiana State Park. We hope you will enjoy your stay with us. Below is some information that you may need during your stay with us. If you have any questions, or need any assistance, please dial “0” from any phone to reach the front desk.

  • NO SMOKING – If you or a member of your party are found to have smoked in a guest/banquet room, a cleaning fee of $250.00 will be assessed, and you hereby agree to pay. By state law, smoking must take place a minimum of eight (8) feet from any doorway or window at the Inn/Lodge.
  • CHECK-OUT IS 11:00 A.M. – If the guest room is still occupied after 11 a.m. a $25 fee will be assessed for the first 30 minutes. After 1 hour you will be charged a full night’s stay at the prevailing rack rate. Any exception to this must be approved prior to the 11 a.m. check-out time.
  • PETS – Pets are only allowed in designated rooms/cabins and are subject to a daily pet fee. If a guest is found to have a pet in a non-pet friendly room, a cleaning fee of $100 will be assessed and you hereby agree to pay. The only exception to the no pet policy is a service animal as defined by the American with Disabilities Act, which must be notified to the Inn prior to check-in.
  • LOST or STOLEN ITEMS – The Inn/Lodge is not responsible for any lost or stolen items. If you require valuables to be secured, please see the front desk associate.
  • QUIET TIME – The Inn/Lodge has a posted quiet time of 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., all guests are required to refrain from disturbing other guests. Violators will be asked to vacate the property.
  • GUEST WIRELESS INTERNET – To access the Inn’s complimentary internet service, open your device’s network manager and select “Inns-Public-Wifi” from the menu. Once connected, your browser should open to the sign in page automatically. If not, simply open your internet browser and go to www.IN.gov and click on “Accept” to accept the terms and conditions.
  • WAKEUP CALLS – Dial “0” to schedule a wake up call.
  • FRONT DESK HOURS – 24 Hours a Day, Dial “0” from any hotel phone.
  • GIFT SHOP HOURS – 24 Hours a Day, pay at front desk if attendant is not on duty.
  • FOOD SERVICE – See dining tab for operational hours and menus.
  • POOL HOURS – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Outdoor Pools Closed Labor Day to Memorial Day Weekend)

  • Your safety is important to us, please follow the procedures below to ensure a safe stay.

  • RULES & REGULATIONS – Please follow all posted rules and regulations both in the Inn/Lodge and posted in the Park.
  • UPON ARRIVAL – Please refer to the back of your guest room door to locate fire exits and staircases. Please be aware of alarm pull stations and fire extinguishers in your area.
  • LOCK DOORS – For additional security, utilize the lock provided on your door. This will prevent the door from being opened by a regular room key. As an additional precaution, please secure the safety latch.
  • ADMITTANCE – Do not admit persons into your room without first making identification. If there is any doubt about the person’s identity, please contact the front desk.
  • KEY CARDS – Please safeguard your key by keeping it away from magnets and cell phones. Please return key cards to the front desk upon check-out. If you lose a key card, please visit the front desk for new key cards to be issued.
  • IN CASE OF FIRE – Stay calm. If safe to do so, exit the building through the nearest exit. Remember to take your room key card with you. If unable to exit room, moisten a towel and place it at bottom of door to keep out smoke. Dial “0” to notify the front desk or dial”9-911” from guest room phone to contact emergency personnel. Stay low to the ground. Fill the bathtub and/or sink with water with water, use to keep towel moist and to fight fire if needed. If able to open window, place a sheet or light colored cloth from window to signal emergency personnel of your location. DO NOT break the window or jump.
  • IN CASE OF EMERGENCY – Contact the front desk by dialing “0”. If it is a life threating emergency, dial “9-911” from any phone, then contact front desk by dialing “0”.
  • IN CASE OF TORNADO OR SEVERE WEATHER – Proceed to designated safe areas as instructed.

  • Thank You for choosing Indiana State Parks as your home away from home! If there is anything we can do to make your stay more enjoyable while you are here, please let us know.

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