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Asaph's first entrepreneurial venture was as a "Dealer in Freshest Family Groceries, Tobacco, Cigars, Canned Goods, Etc." Sometime in the early 1890s, Asaph struck a partnership with W. D. Miller, a local Cherokee County merchant. Presumably, this partnership allowed Asaph to follow a more mercantilist path. Carrying his wares on the road, as a pre-modern traveling salesman of sorts, Asaph called on several mineral spring resorts, including Cohutta Springs on the Georgia-Tennessee boarder. These calls were ostensively directed at selling and trading medical goods, but Asaph, apparently, traveled to Cohutta Springs, and to another spring in Laughridge, Georgia, quite often, for other more personal reasons.


In the late 1800s and early 1900s, mineral springs were commonly thought to offer much to the general well being of the sick and the healthy alike. Resorts near mineral springs were able to draw crowds of health seekers to otherwise obscure locations. The most famous of these springs in Georgia, Warms Springs, was the archetypical springs-based health/resort facility. Asaph traveled to Cohutta Springs and others, with and without his family, to improve his own health.


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