Its Identity. Its Functions. Its Future.
Its Identity. The property we refer to as Cool Springs Farm is actually composed of several properties but is identified by the Cool Spring House at the core of the property and by the Battle of Cool Spring (July18, 1864) fought here, the major Civil War Battle in Clarke County. But to many visitors and retreatants, Cool Spring means the beautiful expanse of rolling fields and pastures, picturesque outcroppings of limestone, majestic sycamores and gentle streams that heighten their experience of peace. Others are aware of the American Indian artifacts and Civil War relics excavated by Br. James Summers (+ 2011) in the 1970’s and ’80’s. Of course, many observe the grazing beef cattle, the fields of corn, alfalfa, soybeans or winter wheat that properly define it as a farm. Some are interested in the land as property put into easement by the monks to protect it as green space in Clarke County. And, of course, Cool Spring Farm is inextricably identified with the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Cross.
Cool Spring Farm, even as the locus of monastic stability, is an evolving element in the life of the Abbey. This is one of the more fluid sections of our history and will reflect the changes we are growing through.