The natural beauty and charm of Covington is everywhere for you to see: the densely treed green neighborhoods, the quaint lines of historic downtown that meander along with the Bogue Falaya river, the fresh air and the pristine aquifer running beneath us, the abundance of local talent in music, theater, dance, art & cuisine, and the creative, lively locally-owned businesses.
Have you ever noticed, too, that (especially for such a relatively small town), we’re bursting at the seams with health-based businesses? On practically every downtown corner, on the 190 corridor and on Hwy 21, you’ll find them: gyms & fitness centers (large & small), wellness centers, yoga classes, pilates studios, bicycle shops, acupuncturists, massage therapists, dentists, health food stores, doctors of all kinds, hospitals and specialty medical treatment centers. Covington is home to one of the busiest, most prolific farmers markets on the North Shore, offering not only conventional local produce, meat & seafood, but organic and grass-fed options.
With the restoration of the Southern Hotel and Covington’s recent Bicentennial celebrations, you might have learned that one of Covington’s earliest and most profitable industries was, in fact, not an actual product, but the town’s healing air and waters. The Southern Hotel was originally a health resort – one of many that were built – enticing visitors from all around to breathe the special ‘ozone air” and the cleansing scent of balsam pine, bathe in the area’s healing springs and imbibe the pure, mineral-rich waters. In 1891, the US government even declared Covington “the most healthy place in the United States.”
When you consider this, it makes perfect sense that our town attracts and supports a community that considers health a priority and that enjoys the beauty of nature and the opportunities for fishing, swimming, biking, boating, play, and other outdoor enjoyments it provides. Covington’s natural beauty, its clean air and the waters that run through the town and beneath it still pull in visitors and new residents and help support a thriving health and healing culture, which, in turn, contributes to a healthy local economy. What an amazing, unique and valuable legacy we have inherited from the natural environs that support us and from those who came before us! So, next time you’re out and about town, be sure to drop into a local gym, wellness center, yoga or pilates class, maybe give acupuncture or massage therapy a try, take a stroll to the Wednesday and Saturday farmers market and stock up on delicious local produce, and then go for a picnic on the banks of the Bogue Falaya. The fun and healthy possibilities are endless!
To learn more about the history of Covington, check out the online, Covington Bicentennial edition of Inside Northside: www.insidenorthside.com/covington-bicentennial