908 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, Colorado
http://www.technogypsie.com/naiads/?p=3133 by Thomas Baurley
Located right on Manitou Avenue in downtown Manitou Springs, Colorado is a sweet tasting natural Artesian soda spring called Cheyenne Spring. This sweet tasting bubbly elixir is believed to be over 20,000 years old and healing for digestive issues and osteoporosis. Drinking water this old empowers the soul with the geology of the Earth and peps the spirit. It comes from aquifers located a mile below the earth’s surface. This is one of the 7 most popular springs in the area.
Most of the Springs of Manitou were known for their health benefits, especially with digestive systems. This was especially helpful to the tribes visiting the waters as their diets were rich with wild game, the meat of which was notable for acidic effects on the body when consumed. These mineral waters helped re-balance the stomach acids.
This magical spring of Manitou has added health benefits based on its mineral contents that are well known for helping with blood pressure, nerve transmission, muscle contractions, osteoporosis, the heart, bones, teeth, and blood coagulation. It is also good for helping release energy from food digestion, regulating fluids, and stimulating the kidneys to release toxins. Magically it is a blood, bone, and heart tonic. It’s year round temperature is approximately 49-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The waters that create this spring are said to fissure up from a mile beneath the surface fed by aquifers created from rainwater and snow melt of Pikes Peak. When the water reaches these depths, they heat up from the Earth’s core, become mineralized, and flow up through fissures and cracks in the Ute Pass fault zone where they become carbonated within limestone caverns, to the surface where they are tapped as natural springs or wells.
This was one of the natural springs frequented by the Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Jicarilla Apache, and Ute Indians throughout history. It was held as a sacred site for healing, meditation, and peace. Plains and mountain tribes agreed to peace during their visits while frequenting the springs together. It was the white man to break the peace of the area.
Fur trappers, miners, and traders came to the area and discovered the magic waters. It became an area known for curative effects in treating tuberculosis. When the Europeans and white settlers came to the area, they pushed the tribes from this area. The spring became commercialized in the 1800s. During the 1870’s, this was one of three springs located in Soda Springs park: Navajo, Cheyenne, Shoshone, and Manitou Springs.
By 1872, the Town Company, owned by Manitou Springs founder Dr. William A. Bell and his friend General William J. Palmer built a rustic stick pagoda over it and created a park called Soda Springs Park on the spot. They made the first bottling plant that year with an associated bath house combining the waters with Navajo Springs to prosper from its magical health benefits.
By the 1890’s it was contained by the current sandstone spring house by the Manitou Mineral Water Company and bottled. The spring house was constructed of stone quarried from the Kenmuir Quarry where Red Rocks open space now sits just east of town. Within the spring house is a historic copper-clad, carbon dioxide gas collector settled in the center of the cistern which the water company boasted was the world’s first mechanism to capture natural gas emitting from the source and being able to re-introduce it during the bottling process for the production of the best naturally sparkling water on the market called “Manitou table water”.
As the region was commercialized, the park diminished in size and was taken over by businesses. It was flanked by Soda Springs and Navajo Springs. When the company collapsed, which many believe was caused by a curse placed by the Ute that no white business would every prosper from the springs, the font and housing fell into disrepair until restored by the Mineral Springs Foundation in 1990-1991.
The current public font was crafted by local sculpture artisan Paul Rogers in Bronze. In June of 2011, a coli form bacteria was found in the spring closing the spring until it was dealt with. It was cleaned and re-opened shortly after. It is one of the most popular springs visited in the area.
|Cheyenne Spring is notable for its high Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Sodium, Sulfate, & Potassium content. Calcium for bones, teeth, heart, blood coagulation, helps control blood pressure, heart disease, PMS, and osteoporosis. Chloride is an electrolyte helping with fluid balances. Magnesium is good for bone and tooth formation, vital for nerve conduction and muscle contractions, and aids energy release from foods. Sodium helps with blood pressure & regulates fluids. Potassium also helps with blood pressure, nerve transmission, and muscle contractions. Stimulates the kidneys & releasing toxins.||Alkalinity: 2,439 mg/L
Calcium: 440 mg/L
Chloride: 240 mg/L
Copper: 0.08 mg/L
Flouride: 3.50 mg/L
Lithium: .743 mg/L
Magnesium: 90 mg/L
Manganese: 1.50 mg/L
Potassium: 75 mg/L
Silica: 40 mg/L
Sodium: 450 mg/L
Sulfate: 190 mg/L
Zinc .102 mg/L
References and Additional Reading:
- Baurley, Thomas 2015 “Offerings of the Naiads: Magical Springs of Manitou”.
- Find a Spring n.d. “Find a Spring: Cheyenne Spring, Manitou Springs, Colorado”. Website referenced 6/18/17 at http://www.findaspring.com/locations/north-america/usa/cheyenne-spring-manitou-springs-colorado-co-80829/.
- Mineral Springs Foundation u.d. “Cheyenne Spring”. Website referenced at http://manitoumineralsprings.org/cheyenne-spring.html on 6/18/17.
- Mulson, Jen 2015 “How you can drink to your health at the springs of Manitou Springs”. The Gazette – December 8, 2015. Website referenced at http://gazette.com/manitous-cheyenne-spring-shut-down-after-contamination-found/article/128369 on 6/18/17.
- Rodgers, Jakob 2011 “Manitou’s Cheyenne Spring shut down after contamination found”. The Gazette – November 11, 2011. Website referenced at http://gazette.com/manitous-cheyenne-spring-shut-down-after-contamination-found/article/128369 on 6/18/17.