Founded in 1987, the Mineral Springs Foundation is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization whose mission is to restore, protect, and publicize the mineral springs of Manitou Springs and to document their historic origins. This mission remains intact today, and has been expanded to include health and spa culture redevelopment. The Mineral Springs Foundation Endowment Fund was created in 1995 to assure that the springs would be available for the continued enjoyment, benefit and education of future generations. The Endowment Fund’s goal is 0, 000 in donations. At present, over 0, 000 has been raised toward this goal.
Before Manitou Springs was founded, American Indian tribes from the mountains and plains believed the great healing spirit of “Manitou” dwelled within the mineral springs in the area. Unique geology created a valley of mineral springs once visited and respected by tribes either living in or passing through the area now known as Manitou Springs. It is said that weapons and feelings of hostility toward one another were set aside when visiting these bubbling springs because of the common belief that their great spirit inhabited the waters. Early explorers’ accounts of the springs aroused interest in those eager to capitalize on the magic and mystery of the west.
Historically, the mineral springs played a major role in the location of Manitou Springs. In its resort heyday, Manitou Springs became known as the “Saratoga of the West, ” offering relaxing strolls in the fresh mountain air, stylish hotels and bath houses utilizing the water from the mineral springs for soaking and therapy. The health resort character of the town was typified by grand buildings and a pedestrian-oriented park system.