Filed Under Boulder

Boulder Hot Springs

For centuries Native Americans have been coming to these pure, flowing hot water springs for rest and healing. Legend tells that they called this area Peace Valley. They agreed to lay down their weapons when they sojourned here, believing that the land and the waters were for everyone to share and could not be owned. In the 1860s, prospector James Riley chanced upon the springs and filed a land and water rights claim. In 1864, he built a crude bathhouse and tavern. When Riley succumbed to smallpox in 1882, new owners built a small, more fashionable hotel. In 1891, it was remodeled and enlarged in the Queen Anne style and boasted fifty-two rooms, electricity, facilities for invalids, a resident physician, gymnasium, and various entertainments. Between 1910 and 1913, the present bathhouse, east wing and an addition at the west were built. The older building was also remodeled with raised parapets and a covering of stucco, creating a grand hotel in the present California Mission style. Opulent interior appointments included Tiffany glass lighting, beamed ceilings, and hand-stenciled walls in the Arts and Crafts tradition. Under various names and owners, Boulder Hot Springs has catered to a widely varying clientele. Architecturally significant as vintage Queen Anne remodeled to a newer style, Boulder Hot Springs is the last vestige of the many large-scale hot spring retreats that provided respite and recreation to early Montanans.

Images

Boulder Hot Springs Hotel
Boulder Hot Springs Hotel Boulder Hot Springs. Photomechanical postcard of Boulder Hot Springs Hotel before Mission-style renovation and addition, showing Victorian-style porch. Source: Montana History Portal Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: Between 1900 and 1910
Boulder Hot Springs
Boulder Hot Springs Boulder Hot Springs. Front and side view of the main building and addition, showing the front porch and automobiles parked front. Source: Montana History Portal Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: Between 1920 and 1930
Boulder Hot Springs, Jefferson County, MT
Boulder Hot Springs, Jefferson County, MT View looking southeast at hotel facade. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Joe Furshong, photographer Date: May 2019
Boulder Hot Springs, Jefferson County, MT
Boulder Hot Springs, Jefferson County, MT View looking south at hotel facade. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Joe Furshong, photographer Date: May 2019
Boulder Hot Springs, Jefferson County, MT
Boulder Hot Springs, Jefferson County, MT Interior view of lobby fireplace. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Joe Furshong, photographer Date: May 2019
Boulder Hot Springs, Jefferson County, MT
Boulder Hot Springs, Jefferson County, MT Interior view of lobby area. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Joe Furshong, photographer Date: May 2019

Location

3 miles south of Boulder on Highway 69, 31 Hot Springs Road, Boulder, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Boulder Hot Springs,” Historic Montana, accessed April 14, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/661.