Stereopair showing Ocean Bath, a hot mineral bath house in Idaho Springs. George Jackson observed vapors rising from the hot springs along Soda Creek while prospecting in 1858. The area was being actively prospected and worked by 1859 and a Cornish miner, James Jack, and his son actually attempted to mine the hot springs despite the mine shaft filling with hot water. Although the hot springs were used occasionally by the miners for bathing, Dr. E. M. Cummings was the first to commercialize the site. Cummings purchased the property in 1863, built a flimsy bath house over James Jack's mine shaft, and charged a fee for entry. Harrison Montague, a local businessman, purchased the hot springs in 1871, and charged the miners twenty-five cents for a towel and bath. To make the bathing establishment into an attraction for tourists and health seekers traveling to Idaho Springs, Montague built a new bath house, Ocean Bath. Ocean Bath had a swimming area with separate sections for men ...
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