A group of boys swims at the old bathhouse at Givens Hot Springs. Below is a picture of the Givens? hotel, circa 1903.
When thinking of aquatics, no history of the subject would be complete without mentioning hot springs.
Twelve years ago, my husband and I fulfilled his lifelong dream of buying Givens Hot Springs in Idaho?s Owyhee County. Homesteaded by his Oregon Trail pioneer great-grandparents in 1881, it became a favorite getaway for families, as well as a healing place for aching bodies and sagging spirits.
In the early 1900s, Milford and Mattie Givens, with their four sons, built a pool house, complete with private soaking rooms for therapy. The remote location didn?t discourage visitors, and the Givens family eventually added a hotel to accommodate the ever-growing clientele. Among the visitors were Silver City miners and families from nearby towns who would pack picnic baskets and load up their horse-drawn buggies for a day at Givens.
In 1939, the hotel became a tragic victim of a chimney fire and was replaced by easier-to-maintain cabins. In 1952, a more sturdy block building took the place of the picturesque, but old and sagging, pool house. A major face lift was performed when we purchased it in 1991.
The water continues to flow, and people still come to enjoy it. As they have for more than a century, children learn to swim in this ideal bathtub-temperature environment, minus chattering teeth and blue lips. The seniors enjoy swapping a fish story or recipe while their bodies respond to the water?s soothing encouragement to movement and circulation.
What other physical activity can be enjoyed from a person?s entrance into this world to his exit, and with other generations in his family? Where else can one go for entertainment or find therapy for body and spirit?
And how could we find anything more rewarding as an occupation than being a part of such a rich chapter of aquatic history?