In its heyday, Paeonian Springs attracted folks such as those men gathered for a raccoon hunt sponsored by The Washington Post in October 1912. The station shown at right stood where the three-sided shelter stands today.
Two things happened to make places like Paeonian Springs popular. The first was the need to escape heat and epidemics such as the ones that hit Washington in the 1860s and 70s. The second was the expansion of the railroads, making travel easy and inexpensive. The railroad arrived here in 1871.
Paeonian Springs promoted its "healing" springs, which people drank from and bathed in. For ten cents you could buy a gallon to take with you - and bottles were shipped to Washington by rail. By 1912 a boardwalk linked the depot with "downtown," which consisted of a post office, a confectionery store, a mill, a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright shop, a general store, and three boarding houses.