If you have ever heard of the Mineral Springs here in Colorado Springs, you would be surprised to find out they are actually located in Manitou Springs. There are currently 8 springs open for public consumption, each with its own unique taste and special properties. Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, the native tribes of the mountains paid tribute to the healing and otherworldly powers of the mineral springs. They believed the waters contained healing properties and were a gift from the Great Spirit Manitou.
Rain and snowmelt from Pikes Peak and neighboring mountains seep into rock fractures and crevices. As the water penetrates astounding depths, it becomes warmed and mineralized. The heated water naturally flows up into cavernous limestone where it becomes carbonated, then gets dispersed from the numerous natural and drilled springs throughout Manitou. Because the water takes thousands of years to complete its journey from the mountain, it is completely free of industrial and human contamination.
Developers created the resort of Manitou Springs in 1871 to provide the popular water for public consumption. Cultural and medical traditions brought prosperity, but, as health practices improved across the nation, Manitou’s famous springs slowly became forgotten and abandoned. Luckily, most of them have now been restored by the Mineral Springs Foundation. An endowment fund is in place to help assure that the springs will be available for the enjoyment of future generations.
According to manitoumineralsprings.org, these are the 8 springs currently open to the public:
7 Minute Spring
In 1909, Seven Minute Spring was drilled in order to further attract tourists to a large hotel. The natural carbonation from deep within the earth caused the spring to erupt every 7 minutes, hence the name.
Believed to have existed for over 20,000 years, the Cheyenne Spring lies a mile deep in the earth. Natural limestone aquifers make this a natural soda spring.
Iron Spring Geyser
In the early 1800s, doctors prescribed the Iron Spring Geyser as a natural source of iron for iron deficiencies. Back in the day, most residents made this a stop on their daily health walks.
The Navajo Spring is most famous across the country for its history of attracting Native Americans and settlers. This natural soda spring has supplied water to a large spa and a bottling company. The spring currently sits beneath the popcorn and candy shop that adorns the streets of Manitou Springs.
Before modern medicines, the Shoshone Spring was recommended by doctors and health professionals for its high sulfur properties. This spring was considered to have curative uses.
Drilled by The Stratton Foundation as an amenity to the town, Stratton Spring follows the early traffic routes of Native American trails.
Drilled as two separate springs, the Twin Spring has now merged into one flow that is often sought after for its sweet taste and high calcium and potassium levels.
Donated by the family of Jerome Wheeler, of New York Macy's, the Wheeler Spring was drilled as a soda spring. His home, Windermere, was located where the present day post office resides.
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