Native Americans traveling through this valley were the first to discover and make use of these Hot Springs. They felt the hot mineral water had a strong medicinal effect, healing the body and strengthening the spirit. They called these springs the "Wampum Waters." Wampum translates roughly as "good" or "beneficial." Many tribes, including the Flathead, Blackfeet and Crow, came here to use these waters to heal their sick. Since some were warring tribes, a truce had to be worked out and this valley became neutral ground; a Valley of Peace. It was permissible to kill your enemy on the other side of the mountains, but not here. Here you had to co-exist, be peaceful and share the waters.
First Bath House
Around 1866, the Flathead Indians told an early settler, James Brewer, of the renowned healing waters. Brewer became fascinated with the springs, built a cabin next to them and settled down. By 1872, he had constructed a bath house with three single bath rooms and a 12' x12' plunge. Baths were 75 cents, whiskey extra. He named his new settlement Brewer's Springs.
This valley is special, a place of peace, rest and healing. From the Native American times until today, a legacy of peace and healing has been handed down, a legacy we are proud to preserve.
White Sulphur Springs
In 1876 Brewer sold part of his holdings to Dr. William Parberry, the first Medical Practitioner in the area. Dr. Parberry later acquired the remainder of the business and changed the name to White Sulphur Springs. He often recommended to his patients that they make use of these waters for their excellent healing qualities.
Around the turn of the century John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers Circus bought the Hot Springs property. Before the Depression scuttled his plans, Ringling had hoped to build a plush and elaborate bath house and hotel. A chemist Ringling brought over from Germany to analyze these waters reported back to him that the mineral water of the springs "...possessed such high virtue that it is doubtful whether better springs can be found on the Western Hemisphere."
For hundreds of years, people have used these natural hot springs for health purposes. Easing such conditions as arthritis, rheumatism, skin and stomach disorders, and a wide variety of muscle and joint ailments. These waters are wonderfully relaxing and a great aid in easing tension and fatigue.
Chemistry of the Waters
The chemistry of these waters has frequently been praised and often compared to Baden-Baden, the famous spa in Germany. We like to say that the waters of Baden-Baden are almost, but not quite, as good as these.