Hot Springs (Big Bend National Park)

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Hot Springs
Hot Springs cabins
Hot Springs (Big Bend National Park) is located in Texas
LocationW of Rio Grande Village, Big Bend National Park, Texas
Coordinates29°10′39″N 102°59′55″W / 29.17750°N 102.99861°W / 29.17750; -102.99861Coordinates: 29°10′39″N 102°59′55″W / 29.17750°N 102.99861°W / 29.17750; -102.99861
Area115 acres (47 ha)
Built1909
Governing bodyFederal
NRHP Reference #74000278[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 17, 1974
 
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Hot Springs
Hot Springs cabins
Hot Springs (Big Bend National Park) is located in Texas
LocationW of Rio Grande Village, Big Bend National Park, Texas
Coordinates29°10′39″N 102°59′55″W / 29.17750°N 102.99861°W / 29.17750; -102.99861Coordinates: 29°10′39″N 102°59′55″W / 29.17750°N 102.99861°W / 29.17750; -102.99861
Area115 acres (47 ha)
Built1909
Governing bodyFederal
NRHP Reference #74000278[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 17, 1974

Hot Springs, also known as Boquillas Hot Springs, is a former resort in what is now Big Bend National Park in Texas. They were developed by J.O. Langford from 1909. Langford was a Mississippi native who had contracted malaria as a child. Searching for a cure, he heard of reputedly curative hot springs on the Rio Grande while visiting Alpine, Texas. Langford made a homestead claim, sight unseen. Although other homestead claims on the site had failed, Langford, his wife Bessie and his 18-month-old daughter set out for the site, discovering that it was already occupied by Cleofas Natividad with his wife and ten children. Initially considering the Natividads squatters, the Langfords developed a cooperative relationship with the Natividads. J.O. took a 21-day treatment of drinking and bathing in the spring waters, regaining his health.[2]

The site was the first major tourist attraction in the area, predating the establishment of the national park. Before the Langford's development, a small stone tub had been excavated in the local stone for bathing, with a dugout that was renovated by the Langfords as a residence. The Langfords later built an adobe house, a stone bathhouse, and brushwood bathing shelters. The Langfords left in 1912 when bandits made the area unsafe. When they returned in 1927 they rebuilt the bathhouse, but with a canvas roof. They also built a store and a motor court, consisting of seven attached cabins.[3]

The structures were built of local stone with wood trussed roofs covered with corrugated metal. Interior walls were plastered. Four of the motor court rooms featured painted murals. A terrace was covered with a long porch or ramada connecting the cabins.[3]

The historic district includes petrogylphs left by native American visitors. The springs were visited by Pedro de Rábago y Terán in 1747, who found Apaches farming the area. In later years the Comanche Trail passed nearby.[4] The hot springs remain, at a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and may be used for soaking.[2] The spring is frequently submerged by the Rio Grande. The site is accessible by unpaved road, about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Rio Grande Village, otherwise known as Boquillas.[5]

Hot Springs was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 17, 1974.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Hot Springs". National Park Service. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Battle, David G. (February 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Hot Springs". National Park Service. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Brune, Gunnar. "Boquillas Hot Springs". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Take a Soak in the Hot Springs". Retrieved 31 October 2011. 

External links[edit]