Steamboat Springs

Washoe County
  39.37995, -119.74235

"Even with the continual growth in the Truckee Meadows not much has changed at the original Steamboat Springs Resort which sits just far enough away from madness on S. Virginia Street. On especially cold mornings many commuters from Carson City to Reno have grown accustomed to seeing the Springs's large flumes of steam gently kissing the early morning air. Now only if these same people would stop on their way to read up on the resort's fascinating story. That would be a first. (At least twenty cars have passed me by already just writing this entry.) Perhaps on their way home when they aren't too busy? -- Journal Entry, August 2007

Along US 395 Alt/SR 430 (S. Virginia Street), 2 miles south of Mt. Rose Highway

Original Date Visited: 8/19/07

Signed: One original cut-out shield remains on the northbound lane of US 395 Alt.

  • A rare cutout shield for Marker 198
  • Marker 198 in the southern Truckee Meadows
  • Marker 198 plaque

Exact Description:
These natural hot springs are notable for their curative qualities. They were nationally acclaimed by President Ulysses S. Grant when he visited them in 1879.

Early emigrants so named them because of their puffing and blowing. Located in 1860 (by Felix Monet), a hospital, with adjacent bathhouses, was subsequently added by a Doctor Ellis (1861- 1862).

The Comstock mining activities and the coming of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in 1871 caused Steamboat to become a terminal. Here materials for the silver mines were transferred to freight wagons for the steep haul to Virginia City. The completion of the tracks abolished the need for a junction, but its resort popularity was to reach its peak with the Bonanza Days.

To its "fine hotel, commodious dance-hall and elegant bar, came the legendary silver kings, politicos, gamblers and new chroniclers, escorting the lovely ladies of stage and opera house."

With borasca, attendance waned; fires destroyed the luxurious buildings, but the therapeutic waters remained, not only for health seekers, but for conditioning athletes--even producing mineral muds, sought by cosmeticians and race horse owners.

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