New life for the historic swimming pools of Warm Springs

WARM SPRINGS, Ga. — The warming waters of Warm Springs, where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt went to help treat his polio have suffered from years and years of neglect and are showing their age.

But an effort is now underway to restore one of Georgia’s natural treasures, to bring back the rich history of this remote area in Meriwether County.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon visited the Springs and got a guided tour from Tom Johnson, the president of the “Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites”, Tom Johnson.

Johnson is spearheading an effort to rehabilitate the springs. The goal is to raise $6 million to bring the 93-year old pools back to their former glory. And if all goes as planned, provide a little relief to people with disabilities who want to feel just a little bit better.

“These pools behind me are the historic treatment pools that FDR built after he purchased this area,” Johnson said. “They’re in bad shape. They don’t hold water very well. If you get close up you can see that the concrete has crumbled.”


For FDR, it was the warm spring water that he loved. That water is still there, but the pools are empty. Johnson said the pools are so rundown they can no longer hold water.

The natural, 88-degree water appears like it will always be there. Warm Springs was the world’s first treatment center for polio victims.

“It’s 88 degrees. High mineral content. It’s really invigorating,” Johnson said.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

The springs are a part of Georgia history known throughout the world. Johnson said he just want to restore them to their former glory and remind anyone who visits about their rich history.

“So that this site can be interpreted as it was when FDR built it, when he opened it up for treatment. It’s just miraculous,” Johnson said.

If you want to donate to the project, CLICK HERE.