The Katalysine Spring

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:07 am

The sights and sounds in and around Gettysburg during the immediate aftermath of the battle were horrific. Just west of Willoughby's Run, on the "Old" Mill Road, stood a charred ruin of the once-prosperous Harmon house. Besides burning the house and barn, soldiers had trampled crops, and the property's value was at an all-time low.

Despite the devastation, the clever and elusive Emanuel Harmon found a way to market his property. In October of 1865 his spring-water was analyzed by Professor Alfred Mayer of Pennsylvania College. Mayer wrote: "The presence of the rare alkali Lithia in this spring no doubt adds to its medicinal virtues." The spring was later named "Katalysine," which is plausibly a combination of Greek words meaning laxative.

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