About the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce


   From the North and South, red and white Burma Shave like signs dot the side of the highway. Each sign announces the many businesses that call Hot Springs home.

   This is just one of the incentives that the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce offers its members, highway advertising. The Chamber also encourages each business to participate in our latest Web site, to announce to outside viewers, and locals alike, what each business has to offer to the consumer.

   Our Chamber of Commerce, as in all cities and towns, of various sizes and descriptions, offers the members a meeting forum. At our monthly meetings, members of the Professional and Business community unite for the purpose of community improvement and development.

   The primary purpose of the Chamber is to be the voice of business", but it goes beyond that to reflect the feelings and the needs of the residential community as well.

   For more information, please call (406) 741-2662. Leave any request, and your call will be returned by a live person!

 

About the Hot Springs, Montana

Hot Springs is a friendly community of roughly 600 inhabitants. It was named for the "big medicine" hot mineral springs discovered by the northwest Indian tribes and enjoyed by residents and visitors ever since. Maybe you've had a long day driving, a full day of vacationing, or just want to get away for a weekend of soothing relief from those nagging aches and pains that come from the stresses of modern life. As a full service community, Hot Springs is the perfect spot to enjoy healthy relaxation in a peaceful environment.

Our Hot Mineral Springs
The healing waters of Hot Springs have drawn people from as far away as Finland and Taiwan, to a leisurely and peaceful vacation in Montana's western mountains.Many revisit on a regular basis, enjoying the benefits and relief that the natural hot mineral waters bring in the treatment of arthritis, skin diseases, rheumatism, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and many other kinds of ailments.  There are several privately owned facilities that offer indoor bathing and hot tubs. You will also find a new outdoor hot mineral water swimming pool.

What You Can Expect to Find
In Hot Springs opportunities for privacy, quietness, relaxation, and recreation abound. Many lakes, streams, and rivers provide excellent fishing for the novice and expert angler. Easy walking or tough climbing trails can be found at the edges of town in all directions, and wildlife frequently wander the streets. In addition, numerous sightseeing, boating, skiing and hunting areas are within easy driving range. Nearby attractions include a tour of the National Bison Range at Moiese, a visit to the historical St. Ignatius Mission Church, scenic Glacier National Park, and Flathead Lake with its cherry orchards.

Where to find us.
One of Montana's hidden treasures, this community is located in northwestern Montana tucked away at the foot of the Cabinet Mountains, just about mid-way between Kalispell (60 miles) and Missoula (80 miles), in eastern Sanders County. Turn off Highway 200 at Plains or Highway 93 at Elmo, onto the short, but scenic, Highway 28. Another way to reach us is by a small aircraft landing strip located a short distance from town.

 

Hot Springs History

Years ago, century before last, Lewis and Clark identified the Indians that they were visiting with as "Flatheads".  The winter camp of the Salish Indians was on the banks of the large, Flathead Lake.  In truth, the tribe of the Flathead is Salish, Kootenai and Pend D'Orielle.   And, many, many years ago, the Flathead Indians pitched their camp of teepees close to the many bubbling springs that came up, through the earth.   They recognized the water as soothing, and curative. They called it "Good Medicine".

And so, when the Homestead Act took place in 1910; the tribes chose their allotments of lands first, and then the homesteaders were allowed to choose their plots of 80, or more acres.  From Niarada to Lonepine to Camas and Hot Springs, Homesteaders and Tribesmen alike, ranched and farmed and developed this area of the Western Flathead Reservation.

By 1910, Hot Springs (once called Pineville, due to the wide variety of pine trees in the region), had its own Post Office, and was developing into a healthy community in large part due to the many hot springs that promised health and healing. The 28 day cure promised life changing events, and brought commerce to the area, as many "housekeeping cabins" were built, along with several grand hotels (The Symes and Alamedas are still thriving today), that promised deluxe accommodations along with the physical improvements they would benefit from, via the hot springs.

The town of Camas was at one time more developed than Hot Springs.  By the 1920's most commerce had moved to Hot Springs, in part because the majority of the beneficial “springs" existed in Hot Springs.  In the 1930's the town boasted several car dealerships, hair dressers, restaurants, several grocery stores, a movie house, a men's clothing store, a government funded/constructed bath house, with eight tubs, two steam rooms and rooms for massage.

Homesteader Days began in 1949, at the time that the largest bathhouse was erected and dedicated by the Confederated Tribes of the Flathead Reservation. It remained active and maintained by the Tribes until the 1980's, when it fell Into disrepair and was determined safe to use.  To bridge this gap between the closed bathhouse, many areas with naturally occurring hot springs improved upon their sites. "Big Medicine" is the spot where tribal member, Leroy O'Bennick maintains the well known mud baths and hot mineral baths. There is Rose's Plunge (Rose is a Tribal Member), Alameda's and The Symes Hotel with outdoor AND indoor soaking available.

Join us as we celebrate the beauty of the reservation, (some people call it the town that time forgot... , the naturally occurring  Hot Springs and all of the PEOPLE, Indian and White, that have treasured this land and maintained it alive as a wonderful tribute to our pioneering spirits.

Norah Potts

May 5, 2012

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