Navajo Spring

Navajo Spring

DETAILS

Bubbling up from the depths of Earth, minerals in this natural soda spring created a large basin or pool, making this a popular stopping place for American Indian tribes and early explorers. One of the earliest known photographs of Manitou Springs is of Navajo Spring: the water ran from the basin into Fountain Creek forming a large deposit, or flowstone, of minerals. The flowstone still exists beneath the world famous Penny Arcade and Patsy’s Candies.

The pleasing, mild taste of Navajo Spring was as popular in the 1870s as today. Young boys were hired to dip cups of water in these centrally-located springs to serve visitors, and as a result, the youngsters earned the nickname “dippers.” Tin cups and ladles on long chains were also fastened to the sides of the springs so passers-by could drink their fill. Sometime during the early 1870s, Navajo Spring was covered with a rustic gazebo made from native vegetation, and eventually a stone springhouse was constructed on the site followed by a bathhouse nearby.

The water from Navajo Spring became the prime ingredient for Manitou Ginger Champagne, Manitou Table Water, cola drinks, and other flavors bottled and shipped all across the country by the Manitou Mineral Water Company.

Mineral Content

MineralAmount
Alkalinity2,317 mg/L
Calcium420 mg/L
Chloride230 mg/L
Copper0.07 mg/L
Fluoride3.10 mg/L
Iron-
Lithium.705 mg/L
Magnesium82 mg/L
Manganese0.354 mg/L
Potassium70 mg/L
Silica41 mg/L
Sodium430 mg/L
Sulfate190 mg/L
Zinc.094 mg/L
Total Dissolved Solids2,690 mg/L

Font History

Navajo Spring in basin foreground; Manitou Spring in pavilion. Photograph courtesy: Harrison Collection

Historic Manitou Springs
Historic Manitou Springs

Navajo Spring with early pavilion, Bath House in background. Photograph courtesy: Harrison Collection

Navajo Spring in building on right; Manitou Spring in pavilion on left; Cliff House in background. Courtesy Special Collections Pikes Peak Library District

Historic Manitou Springs
Historic Manitou Springs

Bottom right; Manitou Mineral Water Co. tasting room and Navajo spring-house designed by local architect Thomas McLaren; Cheyenne Spring left; Spa building; and Cliff House in background. Photograph courtesy: Harrison Collection

Window display for Manitou Ginger Champagne Pale Dry Table Water. Courtesy Special Collections Pikes Peak Library District, Stewarts Commercial Photographers

Historic Manitou Springs
Historic Manitou Springs

Manitou Ginger Champagne billboard touting the naturally-carbonated gas. Courtesy Special Collections Pikes Peak Library District, Stewarts Commercial Photographersper.