Published on May 31, 2014
HISTORY OF THE HEALING WATERS Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Early Hot Springs Bathers Approx. 1930
Early Bath Houses
Not Always Peaceful – a report made to the Department of New Mexico in Santa Fe in 1863. This document provides a historical glimpse into the conflict that did occur on occasion. The springs were supposed to possess medicinal qualities the helped the military with rheumatism.
Daisy Hearn – First hand account1 In 1886, Daisy traveled from the Black Range camps in the Gila Wilderness to take baths at the Palomas Hot Springs. Daisy described the springs as “…a frame building over the spring, with steps down into the water, which was bubbling up thru the gravel.” The mineral water was used for washing and drinking, but was not suitable for coffee because of the minerals. Fresh water was dipped from the river and left overnight to allow the mud to settle. The mineral mud was used for medicinal purposes especially when baths were not effective. In one account mud was used for palsy and in another account on affected areas of the body.
Mabel Darr – First hand account2 (beginning in 1913) Mineral water was used for weekly washing where Government Springs is now. Bath houses made by digging a basin, walling it with timbers, and leaving a sandy bottom that the water bubbled up through.
Otto Goetz – from Palomas Springs to Hot Springs
Moving Buildings to the Hot Springs Resort
Analysis of Hot Springs Mineral Content 1913 Sodium chloride 1771.6 Sodium sulphate, sulphide, etc. Potassium chloride 131.4 Potassium sulphate Potassium nitrate 0.8 Calcium carbonate or bicarbonate 278.6 Calcium chloride 143.9 Calcium sulphate 113 Magnesium carbonate or bicarbonate Magnesium sulphate or chloride 63.1 Silica 43 Alumina 3.2 Iron oxide Hydrogen sulfide Iron carbonate or bicarbonate 0.6 Total Solids 2549.2 El Paso County Medical Society
1987 Chloride 1360 Rubidium 0.7 Iron 0.02 Sodium 751 Boron 0.25 Manganese 0.01 Bicarbonate 220 Barium 0.2 Zinc 0.01 Calcium 163 Nitrate 0.2 Gold 0.005 Sulfate 75.1 Phosphate 0.2 Chromium 0.002 Potassium 56 Cesium 0.12 Copper 0.002 Silicate 45 Uranium 0.1 Molybdenum 0.002 Silicon 21 Aluminum 0.05 Nickel 0.002 Magnesium 15.3 Arsenic 0.05 Lead 0.002 Strontium 3.82 Ammonium 0.05 Silver 0.001 Fluoride 3.06 Antimony 0.05 Cadmium 0.001 Bromine 2.6 Selenium 0.05 Cobalt 0.001 Lithium 1.3 Mercury 0.05 Listed starting with highest concentration, in parts per million. Los Alamos National Laboratory
1998 Calcium 158 Magnesium 22 Sodium 716 Potassium 47 Bicarbonate 219 Sulphate 91 Chlorine 1286 Florine 0.3 Nitrate 0.5 Silica 43 Total Solids 2541 In parts per million Truth or Consequences Herald, May 1, 1998
Map of current bath houses in the Historical Bath District.
Additional Information Sherry Fletcher firstname.lastname@example.org Kathy Clark email@example.com Truth or Consequences Geothermal Resource Assessment (completion date October 2013) Aquifer Mapping Program at New Mexico Tech http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/resources/water/projects/Tr uth_or%20Consequences.html
1Atkins, Daisy. (1958). Way Back Yonder; Old West Reminesence of a Lady on Horseback. El Paso, TX: Guynes Printing Company. 2Early Remembrances of Mabel Darr. A written history of Mabel Darr provided by Annette Smith to Sherry Fletcher (2008).
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