The first settler, Cyrus Norton, arrived in the Scuppernong Valley in 1839. Palmyra became a settlement in 1842 when Indians still roamed the countryside. It was then that David and Samuel Powers built a sawmill and laid out the town and platted the village. The Power brothers named the settlement Palmyra after a city in the Syrian Desert because of the abundance of sand they found in the area. Palmyra was incorporated on April 4, 1866 and held its first election of Village Officers on May 15, 1866. Due to an error in section location the charter was dissolved in 1872 and a new one was granted in 1874.
Six mineral springs, each known for their medical and therapeutic properties, were an important part of Palmyra’s early years. From 1870 to the early 1920’s, people from across the country visited Palmyra enjoying the healing waters at the Palmyra Spring Sanitarium. In 1924, the sanitarium became the National Druggist Home, but a few years later interest in the therapeutic mineral water treatments declined and the sanitarium was closed. In the late 1950’s the building was razed and the land leveled.
The era of the Sanitarium with its water cures and mineral springs helped to shape the history of Palmyra. They have held a never-ending curiosity and fascination of the early years when people traveled to Palmyra from all over the country and have been of interest for generations.