The Lonas Family Legacy
“Many prayers were said over this land. That it would be used for something beneficial for our community and that it would be a blessing to all who visit…” Dowell Springs is a special place for many people in our community and visitors from near and far. Not only is the campus home to the Historic Lonas farmhouse, it is home to Provision CARES Proton Therapy. The beauty of the property and the magnificent views from the buildings bring a calm and healing atmosphere to all visit.
At a recent weekly chat session, Provision patients had the honor of hearing from Roberta Lonas Potter, a descendent of the Lonas family who originally owned the Dowell Springs property. Family descendants sold the 120-acre farm in the late 1990’s to White Realty for the Dowell Springs Business & Medical Park. Roberta and her family held their breath as the land was sold.
They prayed that the land would be used to benefit the community. Mrs. Potter said, “It makes me cry. We can see our ancestor’s home place and land be used for such wonderful and beneficial purposes to save lives. I would have never thought proton therapy, the most advanced form of cancer treatment, would be placed on my family’s land.”
Roberta’s ancestors, Mary and Jacob Lones, moved to what is now known as the Dowell Springs Campus in 1790 and built a log house above a fresh water spring. Mary and Jacob Lones had 10 children, fought Indians, and many hardships along the way. Eventually Jacob’s son, Charles, decided to build a new brick house on the property. The bricks were all handmade and fired in a nearby kiln. Heart-pine floors are still on the second floor and the massive doors held by wooden pegs were made from the farm’s trees. Nearly everything in the house was produced locally, except the locks on the doors and window glass, some of which still remains.
The house can be seen from Middlebrook Pike between the two main entrances of Dowell Springs Campus. There is also a walking trail that leads to the natural spring where the original log house was built. Pack a lunch and take a walk down this amazing trail through history! To download a map of the Dowell Springs Campus, click here.
Content provided by Elizabeth Vanzo, Director, Patient CARE Development