On This Day …

Health and pleasure seekers “drink the healing waters” at Soda Spring in Manitou Springs, 1879.

By the turn of the 19th century, Manitou Springs was well-known as a resort and healing destination. During the summer season, thousands of tourists visited the city from around the globe.  Taking the waters was a social affair; health and pleasure seekers strolled along Manitou and Ruxton Avenues, and stopped at the mineral springs along the way.

While linking the mineral waters with health was nothing new – they had been used and considered sacred by American Indians well before this time – the throng of visitors to the mountain city was. This could be attributed to widely distributed pamphlets that extolled the health benefits of the Manitou’s mineral waters, fresh mountain air and abundant sunshine, along with descriptions of the amenities and stunning scenery of the region.

In his 1875 pamphlet, Dr. Edwin Solly states, “No springs in the State are more delightfully situated than these, or could be more attractive to the invalid . . . attractive excursions with varied and most beautiful scenery invite in every direction.”

Photo courtesy of Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, cspm.org.

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