One might say the state of Colorado ‘sprung’ onto the map between the mid nineteenth century and the early twentieth century with health-minded towns like Poncha Springs incorporated in 1880, Glenwood Springs in 1885, Idaho Springs in 1885, Pagosa Springs in 1891, Steamboat Springs in 1900, Hot Sulphur Springs in 1903, Eldorado Springs in 1910 and Olney Springs in 1912.
These small towns were established in close proximity to the natural springs of mineral-rich water which flowed from Colorado's Front Range Mountains.
Colorado soon became known for its world-famous health springs; hot springs and soda springs. And to easterners, Colorado would become synonymous with the state of healing arts in the otherwise Wild West.
It was and still is believed my many that soaking in a hot mineral spring is a form of hydrothermal therapy, used to improve health and treat disease and injury since ancient times. These streams of "healing waters" offered therapeutic benefits of moist heat for polio patients, and ameliorated or even cured medical conditions like tuberculosis, arthritis skin afflictions, infections, and respiratory disorders. Not to mention how this lends to total relaxation!
And many people “… drink sparkling mineral water not only for its taste but for its health benefits. Drinking sparkling mineral water is a way to obtain minerals without also consuming calories, as noted by the Magnesium Online Library. (http://www.livestrong.com/article/88387-sparkling-mineral-water-health-benefits/)
Settled in 1859, Idaho Springs was the site of the first significant discovery of the Colorado Gold Rush. “The location was originally known as "Jackson's Diggings." Once the location became a permanent settlement, it was variously called "Sacramento City," "Idahoe," "Idaho City," and finally "Idaho Springs."” (from Wikipedia)
In 1868 the current Poncha Springs was established as South Arkansas. In 1877 the name changed from South Arkansas to Poncho Springs. “With abundant hot springs (99 nearby) and the influence of Spanish culture in the area, the community site became known as Poncho (meaning cape and warmth) Springs. In 1924, the town officially became Poncha Springs.”
“Glenwood Springs was originally known as "Defiance". Defiance was established in 1883, a camp of tents, saloons, and brothels with an increasing amount of cabins and lodging establishments. It was populated with the expected crowd of gamblers, gunslingers, and prostitutes. Town Founder Isaac Cooper's wife Sarah was having a hard time adjusting to the frontier life and in an attempt to make her environment somewhat more comfortable, persuaded the founders to change the name to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, after her beloved hometown of Glenwood, Iowa.” Oddly enough … wonder what Sarah would say about this … “Glenwood Springs was named the "Most Fun Town in America" by Rand McNally and USA Today in their 2011 Best of the Road Rally contest” (from Wikipedia)
In May of 1883, the townsite of Pagosa Springs was surveyed and platted. “People gather here to soak in the sulfur springs located here. Home of the World's Deepest Geo-thermal Hot Spring.” “The mineral-rich water continues to be celebrated for its therapeutic powers. The Utes called the sulfur-rich mineral springs "Pah gosah" meaning "healing waters" and visitors from all over the world come to enjoy its hot baths.” "Downtown Pagosa Springs" was the final destination for a duo of truckers in the 1975 country song "Wolf Creek Pass" by C.W. McCall. U.S. Highway 160 from the pass to town goes through a vertical drop of around 5,000 feet (1,500 m), and is described in the song as "hairpin county and switchback city". (from Wikipedia)
In 1910, Eldorado Springs was a resort community, known for its Big Radium Pool, then the largest swimming pool in the United States. The pool, along with several other smaller ones, was known as "Coney Island of the West.” (from Wikipedia)
Hot Sulphur Springs - “The first inhabitants of the springs were the Ute Indians who used the hot springs for many years. They believed in the healing qualities of the waters and referred to them as "big medicine" and "magic waters," and bathed themselves, their horses and dogs, children and women in the water, in that order!” (Hot Sulphur Springs Chamber of Commerce)
Oh, and lest we forget … Colorado Springs. But, back in the early days that destination name may have been a bit ambiguous and misleading to interested tourists and resident-wannabes.
As a segue from part 1 to part 2 of “Manitou Mountain Dew,” it might serve to differentiate between Colorado Springs, the city and Colorado springs, the numerous mineral springs located within Colorado.
You may recall in the April 24, 2011 article, Build it and they will come – a dell of dreams, the tale of tomfoolery when naming our town in 1871. Thinking of the fashionable eastern springs resorts, the town’s flowery and surreptitious secretary/publicist, William E. Pabor pulled some shenanigans to underhandedly get the name ‘Colorado Springs’ registered in the El Paso County transfer books.
There were no mineral springs in ‘Colorado Springs’, the town … the nearest soda springs were about five miles away at the foot of Ute Pass --that curious little corner of the world we know as Manitou Springs!
Take a tour of the town and taste-test the waters in “Manitou Mountain Dew” – Part 2
Respect, enjoy and preserve!