Since pre-historic times, man has been drawn to hot mineral springs for relaxation, therapeutic purposes and in many instances for spiritual practices. While there are hot springs on all continents and in many countries around the world most in the United States are located in the Western States.
Natural Hot Mineral Waters
There are relatively few sources of geothermally heated mineral water in the Eastern United States. Hot Springs, North Carolina, is fortunate to be one of two with hot (as opposed to warm) mineral water with the other being Hot Springs, Virginia, home of the Homestead Resort.
The water coming from a hot spring is heated by geothermal heat. In general, the temperature of rocks within the earth increases with depth. If water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it will be heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks. Because heated water can hold more dissolved solids, warm, and especially hot, springs often have a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium, and even radium.
Today, Hot Springs Resort & Spa offers the natural hot mineral spring water in modern day Jacuzzi tubs at the edge of the French Broad River and Spring Creek. The tubs are private and are cleaned and refilled between guests. The spa also offers a variety of spa treatments including massage, body wraps and more.
Native Americans First Soaked in the Springs
The town’s hot springs were first discover by Native Americans who believed the springs possessed healing powers. Signs of Native American presence here date back nearly 5,000 years to 2,500 B.C. on petroglyphs that can be seen on Paint Rock, a 107-foot rock cliff which researchers believe Native Americans used as a stopping point for prayer and contemplation on their way to the springs.
Hot Springs, a Healing Center Since the Late 1700’s
Hot Springs, North Carolina, has a rich history as a center for healing and retreat. Traders from the colonies were the first to visit the springs and, by 1778, the lame and the sick were traveling over the mountains for the healing waters. On March 19, 1791, William Nelson bought the hot springs property for “two hundred pounds in Virginia currency” and began catering to the visitors. In the 1800’s, a series of three hotels were built to accommodate visitors who came for the clean mountain air and to soak in the springs.