"The Gift" - Kidney Springs lady.

Kidney Springs 1922 Gazebo

Field review by the editors.

Hot Springs, South Dakota

Hot Springs, South Dakota had its heyday in the late 19th/early 20th century as a health spa retreat due to its large concentration of natural thermal springs -- 170 in Hot Springs Valley. The water's high mix of minerals was believed to have powers to cure myriad illnesses and chronic conditions. Some springs gained reputations for their curative targeting of specific maladies -- hence the Kidney Springs in Kidney Springs Park.

Hot Springs - Kidney Springs Park.
Hot Springs - Kidney Springs Park.

A historical gazebo has been preserved along the Fall River, sort of. This neo-classical landmark -- built in 1922 with eight doric columns -- has been washed away in floods a couple of times. Old photos reveal that the gazebo started as a sturdy stone (or stone-like) edifice (destroyed), then rebuilt as a spindly wooden structure (destroyed). Its recent incarnation added a Japanese and Frank Lloyd Wright influenced roof, topped by a sculpture.

The sculpture, a bony figure of an older woman in flowing garb, reaches out with a jug, ready to capture the restorative elixir. Titled "The Gift," it was sculpted by local artist Mike Tuma in 1985. In 2014, the gazebo was again repaired and restored by the city.

In a nod to responsible consumer packaging, there's an old plaque bolted above the spring pipe titled "Analysis." It provides measurements of the spring water content, including sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium cholride, lithium sulphate, calcium sulphate, calcium phosphate, and silica.

The water spews at a constant 83 F degrees. Prepared visitors show up with empty plastic jugs to fill, then take home as gifts for their appreciative internal organs.

Also see: Water: Wonder Temples and Miracle Springs

Kidney Springs 1922 Gazebo

Kidney Springs Park

Address:
598 N River St, Hot Springs, SD
Directions:
SW corner of Minnekahta Ave and N River St. Bring an empty water jug.
Hours:
Daylight hours.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Mammoth Site: Indoor BoneyardMammoth Site: Indoor Boneyard, Hot Springs, SD - < 1 mi.
Future 50-Foot-Long Woolly MammothFuture 50-Foot-Long Woolly Mammoth, Hot Springs, SD - 5 mi.
Bicycle SculptureBicycle Sculpture, Pringle, SD - 13 mi.
In the region:
World's Largest Teddy Bear Collection, Hill City, SD - 35 mi.

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February 29, 2020

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