These natural hot-springs are notable for their curative reputation. They were acclaimed by President Ulysses S. Grant when he visited in 1879.
Early emigrants thought they looked like a distant Steamboat because of their puffing and blowing. Felix Monet located the springs in 1860, and Doctor Joseph Ellis subsequently added a hospital and bathhouses in 1861-1862.
Comstock mining and the coming of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad in 1871 caused Steamboat to become a terminal. Materials for the silver mines were transferred to freight wagons for the steep haul to Virginia City at this point. The completion of the tracks abolished the need for a junction, but the resort’s popularity reached its peak with the bonanza days during the 1870s.
With the failure of the Comstock mines in the 1880s, attendance at the springs waned. Fires destroyed the luxurious buildings, but the therapeutic waters remained. Health seekers, and conditioning athletes continued to visit here, and the springs even produce mineral muds sought by cosmeticians and race horse owners.