Do the Hot Springs Mineral Waters have Curative Powers?

One of the most popular past exhibits was in 2019 entitled “A Fountain of Youth in the Southern Highlands: A History of Hot Springs, North Carolina.” Part of the exhibit addressed the supposed “curative powers” of the mineral springs. In the 19th century, the wealthy came to Hot Springs (then known as Warm Springs) for the “cure.” First, they stayed at the 350-room Warm Springs Hotel built in 1837 and later (after the hotel burned) at 200-room Mountain Park Hotel. Advertised as a place for health, pleasure and peace, the Warm Springs Hotel made a claim in the Raleigh Observer in an 1883 advertisement promising travelers “speedy and radical cures in almost all cases of Chronic and Sub- Acute Gout and Rheumatism, … Paralysis, Afflictions of the kidneys …”

Currently Hot Springs Resort and Spa mainly attracts those who just enjoy soaking in a hot tub—and the Resort offers several outdoors in secluded spots along the French Broad River. Located on the former site of the Warm Springs and Mountain Park hotels, the Hot Springs Resort and Spa keeps alive the town’s reputation as a place of relaxation and healing.

Magnesium is the springs’ most plentiful mineral, “which speaks to ailments in the body, especially muscle aches and skin irritation,” according to the manager of the Resort/Spa. “People with rheumatoid arthritis or even bee stings and poison ivy see the most benefits [from the tubs].” These healing powers, while a far cry from the town’s 19th-century claims, contribute to the ongoing allure of Hot Springs.

For more information about the museum or to plan your visit, click the link below.