Rocky Mountain Utopia
Situated at the mouth of Nunda Canyon in southern Colorado, Purgatory Springs was renowned for its curative mineral waters and healing hot springs. Hundreds of consumptive patients found a home at the sanatorium built on the high plateau overlooking the valley.
Resorts and casinos lined the banks of the famed Purgatory Creek. The famed Schueler’s Brewery exported spring-feed pilsner beer around the world, and Purgatory Springs Water was practically a household name.
Sadly, by the mid-1930s, the town was abandoned, except for some counter-culture holdouts, radical taxidermists, and so-called “misfits.”
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Tourist Handbook 1896
As a pleasure resort, Purgatory Springs presents to the tourist more objects of scenic interest than any resort of a like character in the old or new world, while its wonderful effervescent and mineral springs, soda and iron make it the favorite resting place for invalids.
The great superiority of Purgatory’s climate is found in its dryness and even temperature the year round. In summer the cool breezes from the mountains temper the heat, the nights always being cool enough to allow that refreshing sleep so grateful to all and most needed by the invalid.
The elevation is over a mile above sea-level and the pure dry air of the mountains is particularly strengthening to all who suffer from throat or lung troubles and specifically alleviating for asthma, hay fever, and consumption.
Purgatory Springs Water: The Panacea for All
The mineral springs are good for the following diseases: Acid dyspepsia, sour stomach, pyrosis, flatulence, kidney complaints, smarting, stinging pains in the back, bladder complaints, Bright’s disease, diabetes, weakness from any cause, loss of appetite or strength, consumption, etc.
Many excellent small hotels, besides cottages which may be rented for a period of weeks or months.
A pleasant funicular railroad readily provides transport to the Consumptive Retreat and Sanatorium, as well as public access to a spectacular promontory of the Spanish Peaks and the “Blood of Christ Mountains.”