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History

The Town of Blenheim has been an incorporated town for the past 124 years. 

But, its history is 225 years old and it is best known for the famour hot ginger ale which was made from its famous mineral spring water and bears the town's name.

First known as Mineral Springs or Spring Hill, in 1878 the community gained its first post office and was called Three Creeks for a nearby stream.

In 1883, at the time of its incorporation, it was renamed Blenheim by Donald Matheson, who laid out home sites and developed the area now known as Blenheim.

A native of Locharron, Scotland, Matheson came to Marlboro County as a tutor for plantation children, became a planter and a financial success.  He is the progenitor of the Matheson family of Marlboro County. 

He renamed the community Blenheim in honor of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, the baronial seat given to Joh Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, by Queen Anne in gratitude for his successful military exploits.  In 1785, Marlboro County is said to have been named in honor of the Duke of Marlborough.

Blenheim Mineral Springs

Blenheim's famous mineral springs were discovered in 1781 during the American Revolution by James Spears, a patriot, who was running and trying to escape Tory troops.

According to tradition, Mr. Spears lost a shoe in a water hole while racing toward his home.

When he returned the next day to retrieve his shoe, he found it in a bubbling spring, tasted the water, and noticed its strong mineral content.

Word of the mineral spring spread and soon people were coming to taste the cool, refreshing water.

Several wealthy plantation owners built summer homes on the bluff above the springs and a small spa developed. 

In the late 1890s, Dr. Charles R. May advised his patients with miasma and stomach problems to drink the spring water for their health.  When they complained about the strong taste of the mineral water, Dr. May added Jamaican Ginger and sugar water and other secret ingredients to it to make it more palatable.  That was the beginning of famed Blenheim Ginger Ale.

The building which housed the original bottling works was built in 1920 and still stands near the springs.

Many Marlboro County residents would visit the springs weekly, filling up jugs to take home, believing there was no healthier water around than that from Blenheim's famous mineral springs.

Blenheim Ginger Ale continues to be bottled by the current owners, Shafer Distributors of Dillon.