Healing Waters : Missouri's Historic Mineral Springs and Spas

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-10-31
  • Publisher: Univ of Missouri Pr
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Missourirs"s mineral springs and resorts played a vital role in the social and economic development of the state. InHealing Waters,Loring Bullard delves into the long history of these springs and spas, concentrating particularly on the use and development of the mineral springs from 1800 to about the 1930s. During this period, there were at least eighty sites in the state that could be described as resorts. Because so many people were drawn to the springs by their faith in the healing virtues of the springwater, towns were frequently founded at the mineral springs. These places fought hard to capture the attention of Missourians who were seeking better health, relaxation, or good times in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Bullard first examines the development of mineral water resorts in Europe from ancient times, early spa traditions in America, and Missourirs"s frontier spas. He then discusses the establishment of saltworks at the staters"s saline springs and the importance of the early salt trade; the brisk business that grew around the bottling of mineral waters; the use and development of mineralized groundwater resources; the geologic and biologic factors that create Missourirs"s mineral waters; and public and professional belief in the curative values of mineral waters. Healing Watersalso traces the demise of Missourirs"s mineral water resorts and towns. Well into the twentieth century, when modern medicine had seemingly taken hold, many physicians and scientists continued to proclaim the medicinal virtues of mineral waters. However, by the second quarter of the twentieth century, medical science and popular opinion had discounted the immediate medical usefulness of mineral waters. As advances were made in microbiology and biochemistry, and with the inherent promise of drug cures, orthodox medicine began to turn a cold shoulder on mineral water treatments. Spa treatments, with their long regimens, also did not fit well with the increasingly fast-paced lifestyles of the public.By visiting the sites, gathering local historical accounts, interviewing local citizens, and photographing remaining artifacts, Bullard has done a masterful job in providing the answers to why these vibrant social centers came to be and why they faded.

Author Biography

Loring Bullard is Executive Director of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction 1(74)
1. Where Rocks, Water, and Life Unite
2. The Call of Hygieia
3. Springs of America
4. The Spice of Life
5. Missouri's Early Resorts
6. The Surveys
7. Spa Doctors
8. The Rising Tide
9. Social Diversions
10. Taking the Waters 75(8)
11. Waters, Deep and Mysterious 83(6)
12. Health in a Bottle 89(10)
13. Fading toward Obscurity 99(14)
Site Surveys and Descriptions 113(104)
Appendix: Other Mineral Water Sites 217(10)
Bibliography 227(6)
Index 233

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