Two of a Kind: : Hot Springs and Sulphur Springs
Two of a Kind
"Healing Waters" and National Parks
Hot Springs in the Arkansas Territory comprised 47 springs of salubrious repute emerging from a fault at the base of a mountain. In 1832 Congress reserved four sections of land containing Hot Springs “for the future disposal of the United States.” After the Civil War the Interior Department permitted private entrepreneurs to build and operate bathhouses to which the spring waters were piped, and the Hot Springs Reservation became a popular resort.
In 1902 the Federal Government purchased 33 mineral springs near Sulphur, Oklahoma Territory, from the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations to create the Sulphur Springs Reservation, also under Interior’s jurisdiction. The reservation was enlarged in 1904, and two years later Congress renamed it Platt National Park after the recently deceased Senator Orville Platt of Connecticut, who had been active in Indian affairs.
In 1921 the State of Oklahoma constructed a tuberculosis sanatorium for veterans immediately south of Platt National Park. A trail connects the Veterans Center to Pavilion Springs.
The Mineral Water Parks Today
Platt National Park lost that designation in 1976 when it was incorporated in the new Chickasaw National Recreation Area.