June 2020 – June 2022
Past Exhibit June 2020 - June 2022
For centuries, the Ute Indian Tribe would soak their bodies and horses in the area’s mineral springs that they believed were healing and sacred. Later, Steamboat Springs’ town founder James Crawford saw great potential in the springs. Crawford built the first bathhouse over the Heart Spring where many weary travelers and settlers enjoyed a warm soak—a unique luxury in the frontier west.
Few places in the world match the concentration and diversity of mineral springs found near Steamboat Springs. There are a reported 150 springs in the area that vary in temperature from 40-150 degrees—“The Largest Group of Mineral Springs in the World…” (Steamboat Pilot, 1889). Early tourists and residents drank sparkling “lemonade” from the Soda Spring, while others regularly ingested doses of the Lithia Spring for a myriad of ailments. The various springs were believed to cure everything from rheumatism, gout and dyspepsia to virulent blood disorders and skin diseases. In the 1920s, H.W. Gossard envisioned Steamboat Springs as a spa resort and worked to improve and market the town and its curative waters. Though over time some of the springs have disappeared and others have been severely altered by development, tourism, health, wellness and geologic wonder continue to draw both residents, and visitors to mineral springs of Steamboat.