Lewis and Betty Kemry
May 3, 2005
After reading the article in the April 14 Steamboat Today, our family feels great concern for the future of the Lithia Springs. We think the entire 7.8 acres, gifted to the city by Mr. Gossard, should be respected, protected and preserved as open space.
It is important to the heritage of Routt County and could and should be promoted as a tourist attraction. We have read it is one of three such springs in the world, another reason it should be treated with pride and consideration. We would be pleased if it were to receive a national historic designation. It is deserving of such.
As a family, we have many happy memories of the springs around Steamboat Springs. From the 1920s to the present, our visiting friends and relatives were given tours of many of the 150-plus springs in the vicinity. Tours included Lithia Springs and the Strawberry Park Hot Springs. When visiting the hot springs, it was traditional to soft-boil eggs and wieners in the springs as a part of the picnic lunch. Everyone had to remove their shoes and socks for a wade in the creek, all being careful not to step into scalding hot water. Often when picnicking in town, we made our lemonade from the water of the Soda Spring. We always were proud to show these natural wonders to our guests and considered the springs very special. We and our guests sampled the waters. We no longer do this for fear of contamination.
The “turning wheels” of progress ruined the Soda Spring. We’ve heard various reasons why the Steamboat Springs lost its chugging sound. The hot springs property was sold and commercialized. We must protect the remaining springs.
Having just visited the Lithia Spring, we realize it is no longer a nice drive nor a pleasant view from the spring site because of the industrialized area surrounding it. This is no fault of the spring — it has been there for ages. Some folks think that because of the industries, the area already has lost its appeal as a sight-seeing side trip. None of this takes away the fact that it is a God-given rarity. Nor does it take away the need to preserve it rather than throw it to the dogs. We recently have been told there are other springs on the hillside above the main spring. Never having walked the ground, we cannot verify this.
The Responsible Dog Ownership Group of Steamboat thinks it needs a space of dogs to interact and play. One suggestion is that this group increase their numbers and together lease or purchase land to fit their needs. They could have total control of usage and maintenance.
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According to the map of the proposed dog area, RDOGS is requesting use of most of the 7.8 acres of Lithia Springs. Much of the area requested is a hillside above the main Lithia Spring. Any drainage from this hillside will contaminate the springs. This is unacceptable.
The important issue, from our point of view, is to protect the Lithia Spring and the 7.8 acres in its entirety. The stone columns at the entry should remain and be maintained as part of the grounds
Lewis and Betty KemryEunice Kemry Dorr