Happy summer! As the weather starts to finally warm up and feel like summer, we thought we’d feature a refreshing beverage: Manitou Mineral Water with Lemonade. We’ll also discuss the history of Manitou Springs, tuberculosis in Colorado, and the Denver & Rio Grande “Scenic Line of the World.”
Before Manitou Springs was established as a town, it was known by the local Indigenous nations for its healing mineral springs. When Europeans came to the area, they too discovered those healing properties. In 1872 William Jackson Palmer (of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad) and Dr. William Bell officially established the town as a health resort.
One of the most deadly sicknesses in the 19th and early 20th century America was tuberculosis, also known as TB. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the right mix of antibiotics was discovered that cured the disease, so before then, patients were frequently prescribed cooler, drier climates as a restorative. Colorado became one of those places. Colorado became so well known as a healing place that an estimated one third of the early settlers who came to the state, did so because of TB. Sanatoriums and hospitals were built in places like Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs to treat patients with the illness. Treatments included spending hours in the sun, eating excessive amounts of food, and drinking restorative elixirs such as Manitou Springs Mineral Water.
Manitou Springs was not just a health resort for those with tuberculosis, however. It was promoted as a healing place for anyone and everyone. Though the town was established in the 1870s, it wasn’t until a railroad spur connected the town in 1881, that it began to thrive. The Denver & Rio Grande, or D&RG, railroad included it as a destination on their Scenic Line. Their promotional brochures touted it for its views, mineral waters, bathhouses, and hotels. It was one option for adventure that the D&RG offered in addition to places like Glenwood Springs and the Royal Gorge.
Passengers did not have to stop in Manitou Springs to enjoy the mineral waters offered there. D&RG offered bottled Manitou Springs Mineral Water as part of its dining car beverage options. Competing bottling companies put out thousands of quarts of water and Ginger Champagne that was shipped across the country. One of the beverage options D&RG offered was lemonade with mineral water.
Before we share the recipe, let’s talk about the history of lemonade. The first written instance of lemonade shows up in an 1100s Arabic treatise written by physician Ibn Jumay who was describing its health benefits. Originally the ingredients for lemonade were only available for the rich or those who were sick, but it became a popular drink in Europe in the 17th century. The drink traveled to America with Europeans, and was enjoyed both with and without alcohol.
Our recipe today comes from the Mineral Springs Foundation in Manitou Springs. Though bottled mineral water is not currently available from Manitou Springs, the drink can still be enjoyed with replacement mineral water, or at Manitou Springs itself. We hope you enjoy the refreshing beverage, and if you try it, as always, let us know on any of our social media sites, or in the comments below!
Dining on the Rails May 2023: Roast Spring Lamb
Dining on the Rails April 2023: Fruit Salad and Fruit Salad Dressing
Dining on the Rails March 2023: Union Pacific Cole Slaw with Peppers
Dining on the Rails February 2023: Bourbon Toddy
Dining on the Rails January 2023: Cinnamon Toast and Children’s Menus
Dining on the Rails December 2022: Harvey Girl Special Little Thin Orange Pancakes
Dining on the Rails November 2022: Old Fashioned Navy Bean Soup
Dining on the Rails October 2022: Apple Cider
Dining on the Rails September 2022: Peach Cobbler
Dining on the Rails August 2022: Barbeque
Dining on the Rails July 2022: Mountain Trout
Dining on the Rails June 2022: Eat like a Hobo!
Dining on the Rails: May 2022 – Mother’s Day Shirred Eggs
Dining on the Rails: April 2022 – How about a nice Old Fashioned?
Dining on the Rails: March 2022 – French Toast, Anyone?
Dining on the Rails: February 2022 – A Chocolatey Valentine’s Treat!
Dining on the Rails: January 2022 – Western Pacific Pork Tenderloin
Dining on the Rails: December 2021 – Cranberry Sauce
Dining on the Rails: November 2021 – Oyster Stuffing!
Dining on the Rails: October 2021 – Chicken Pot Pie
Dining on the Rails: September 2021 – Chili
Dining on the Rails: August 2021 – Pullman “Tom Collins” Cocktail
Dining on the Rails: June – How about a salad?
Dining on the Rails – Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ham!
Dining on the Rails: CRI&P’s New England Boiled Dinner
Dining on the Rails: A Sweet Treat for your Valentine!
Dining on the Rails: Black Eyed Peas!
Dining on the Rails: Eggnog
Dining on the Rails: Happy Thanksgiving!
Dining on the Rails: Union Pacific Apple Pie
Dining on the Rails, August 2020
Dining on the Rails, July 2020
Dining on the Rails, June 14, 2020
Dining on the Rails, June 7, 2020
Dining on the Rails, May 31, 2020
Dining on the Rails, May 24, 2020
Dining on the Rails, May 17, 2020
Dining on the Rails, May 10, 2020
Dining on the Rails, May 3, 2020
Dining on the Rails, April 26, 2020
Dining on the Rails, April 19, 2020
Dining on the Rails, April 12, 2020