Monte Neva Hot Springs, White Pine County, Nevada
Latitude 39.665, Longitude 114.807

by June Shaputis 2001

 

Traveling north towards Cherry Creek, Nevada, along the old shelf road on the west side of Steptoe Valley, ranches can be seen scattered here and there marked by a small stand of trees. Several places have trees but no longer have any buildings. Monte Neva Hot Springs is one of these sites.

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Shaputis Photo 1999

The crystal clear water is so hot where it bubbles up out of the ground (176 F or 80 C) that a special louvered tower was constructed to allow for the cooling of the water before it could be used for swimming purposes. Minerals coat the tumbleweed branches that the wind deposits in the ditch. Recently, a Bull snake was seen that had fallen off of the bank into the water and was parboiled immediately before it had time to do more than raise its head out of the water.

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Shaputis Photo 1999

Shaputis Photo 1999

Shaputis Photo 1999

Monte Neva Hot Springs today is only a ghost of its former self. Charles Osterlund 's dream of a fine tourist playground and resort is gone. Where once bathers happily soaked easing their aching muscles, and swimmers of all ages dove, and played in the hot water of the swimming pool, weeds have cracked the cement and grow profusely. The wind blows dust and debris into the corners.


Courtesy of the White Pine Historical a& Archaeology Society

 


Courtesy of the White Pine Historical a& Archaeology Society

Osterlund built the rural resort complete with swimming, private spa areas and bar facilities during the 1920's, about 35 miles north of Ely, Nevada on what is now known as the Bell Ranch.  There were rooms and cabins for rent, a dining room and dance floor and horseback rides could be scheduled to explore in the nearby mountains. 

The advertisement on the back of these postcards states, "This building contains so many desirable features we haven't space to enumerate them all, but there are seven swimming pools, ball room, dining rooms, club rooms, and ten guest rooms. When completed, will be surrounded by parks and cottages, a golf course, tennis courts, ball grounds, air ports, etc." and "Now featuring Eastern Brook Trout dinners. Trout from our own private hatchery and the same fish are on exhibition in display tanks at all times. A large acreage of "Something Different" and a courteous reception extended to all."

The combination of the Depression and Prohibition caused Osterlund go broke and to lose the business. Buildings were torn down or moved away. One of the buildings was moved to cover the Lackawanna swimming pool that was operated by Gladys Williams and her son, Gene during the 1930's. That building was later moved to a location across the street from the East Ely Texaco Station. 

The uncovered Monte Neva pool and spas remained intact and locals would continue to use them for several years until they deteriated. Now the private property is fenced off and only a grove of trees, the cement ruins and a pond reside on this once popular site.

Today, one must now use their imagination to visualize the two diving boards that once graced the enclosed swimming pool.

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Shaputis Photo 1999

Courtesy of the White Pine Historical a& Archaeology Society

 

The area around Monte Neva is home to a "special status" wild flower that is designated as "sensitive" by the Nevada BLM State Director. 

Castilleja salsuginosa (Monte Neva paintbrush)
Damp, open, alkaline to saline clay soils of hummocks and drainages on travertine hot-spring mounds with Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Sporobolus airoides, etc. Aquatic or wetland-dependent.
Elevations recorded: 5965-6130 feet (1818-1868 meters).
Habit and life-form: short-lived perennial terrestrial hemiparasite from a buried root crown.
Flowering: late-spring to summer.

Sources:

A Pictorial History of White Pine County 1900 - 2000 (2000) page 36. by Sunny Martin, Lorraine Clark, Mike Bunker, Steve Sindelar and Virginia Terry for the Ely Renaissance Society in partnership with Ely Daily Times.

Lackawanna by A Seventh Grade Language Arts/Social Studies Project

Monte Neva Fm EC Cm2 B1200 

B72 p. 14 
Langenheim, R. L., and Larson, E. R. (1973) Correlation of Great Basin stratigraphic units: NBMG Bull. 72, 36 p. 

B72A p. 8  
Allen, J. E. (n. d.) Index to Bulletin 72--Correlation of Great Basin stratigraphic units: NBMG Bull. 72A, 19 p.

B85 p. 6 
Hose, R. K., Blake, M. C., and Smith, R. M. (1976) Geology and mineral resources of White Pine County, Nevada: NBMG Bull. 85, 105 p.

 

 

Tom's Hot Springs of Nevada

David Woolsey's USA Hot Springs Map Index

Nevada National Geophysical Data Center Listings

 


 

 

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White Pine Historical and Archaeological Society

White Pine County, Nevada Historical Information

US GenWeb State of Nevada

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Revised: July 07, 2001