Hot Sulphur Springs was originally a summer campground for Indians who came for the hot springs. When Grand County was formed, it was the first county seat from 1874 to 1882, after which it moved to Grand Lake. The county seat returned in 1888 and has been here ever since. This town was established in 1860 making it the oldest town in the county and originally named Saratoga West and sometimes called Warm Springs. In 1863 the name was changed to reflect the hot springs in the area that were used for medicinal purposes. The town site was bought by William Newton Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News, in 1864. He wished to make it a spa and resort so surveyed, platted and named the streets to the city. It was incorporated April 1, 1903. William Byers original family cabin is located at 204 Byers Avenue, along what is now Highway 40 and still exists to this day. The building is currently the county's only mortuary.
The first winter carnival
in Hot Sulphur Springs was held on Dec. 31st, 1911. The success of this event led to a 3-day carnival which took place on Feb. 10-12, 1912. The following winter; a second annual winter carnival was planned in Hot Sulphur Springs, and it was planned in conjunction with the first Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Carnival. This series of events led to the creation of Howelson Hill in Steamboat Springs, and is credited with playing a large role in the birth of the Colorado ski industry.
Early photo of the Riverside Hotel on Grand Avenue across from what is now the post office
A more recent photo of the Riverside Hotel and Restaurant
for a link to the Denver Public Library, Western History, Hot Sulphur Springs page of photos in their Digital Collection. There are over 300 Hot Sulphur Springs documents on this site with full descriptions and dates. All are medium-sized and can be downloaded and printed.