Ezekiel Neal began acquiring land along the South Fork in Metcalfe Count in 1832.  In 1845 he began digging a well.  With a hand and horse powered drill he hit water at a depth of 180 feet.  The stream of was has flowed continually since then.  Mr. Neal was attempting to hit a salt well as one had been dug on the East Fork of the Little Barren River and was making money for the owner.  Disappointingly, this well was not a salt well.  The water was analyzed and found to contain Sulphur, Magnesia, Salt and Iron.  This combination of chemicals was believed to cure stomach problems and nervous disorders.  

    Mr. Neal's home was opened as a hotel for people that came to drink the water.  Various other boarding houses were opened in the area.  The Neal's sold 186 acres including the Sulphur Will in 1854.

    Construction on the Beula Villa Hotel was begun in 1902 by Catlett W. Thompson.  It was completed the next year.  Beula Villa was open until 1969.  It was modern resort hotel with a dance hall, pool room, bowling alley and a garage for the guest's cars.  It was well known for it's warm and relaxed atmosphere and excellent food.  Features included a massive 20 foot by 102 foot front porch on which many rocking chairs were provided for patrons to sit and chat.

    After it closed in 1969 the Beula Villa fell into ruin with the foundations sagging, windows broken and walls caving in.  It has since burned leaving only remnants of the foundation.

    Ezekiel Neal was the third great-grandfather of Jeanette "Net" Douglas Denton, my cousin and fellow amateur genealogist.

 Notes from Cora Jessie:

The dance hall did not have a garage; in fact, the guests rarely if ever drove to the Beula Villa.

Mr. Crenshaw sent a car to the bus station in cave City to pick up most of the guests, and a bus route also came up state hwy 68 and stopped at the intersection of 68 and 70. (one mile from the hotel)

The dance hall was built on stilts in order to stay out of the water. The creek would get high and flood up to the bank by the dance hall and hotel.

 I was the postmaster at Sulphur Well for several years, and ate many meals at the hotel. (2.00) I became aquainted with many of the guests who would spend the summer here. I ahve lived here 50 years, and my husband was born and raised here. (He is now 73)

This was and is, a wonderful place, and so many beautiful things are gone.