• Little Niagra

    Chickasaw

    National Recreation Area Oklahoma

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  • Little Niagara Swimming Area Closed

    Due to low water flow in Travertine Creek, the Little Niagara and Panther Falls swimming areas are closed until further notice. The Little Niagara and Panther Falls picnic areas remain open.

Bromide Spring

Stone pavilion structure in a cleared grassy field
The waters of the Bromide Spring were piped to the Bromide Pavilion until the spring ceased flowing in the 1970s
NPS/Chickasaw National Recreation Area
 

Spring Type: Mineral
Spring Status: No longer flowing

 
People in front of a rustic springhouse

The springhouse at Bromide Spring; circa 1910

NPS/Chickasaw NRA

At one time, Bromide, Medicine and Sulphur Springs trickled from a fissure at the base of Bromide Hill. Early cattlement knew them as the "Salt Springs." For much of the early history of the park, the waters of the Bromide Spring were the most sought after; early park superintendents limited visitors to one gallon of bromide water per person per day, without a physician’s prescription.

In the opening years of the Twentieth Century, many testimonials were written about the curative powers of the water:

"Then there is the bromide spring, which is a sleep producer equal to Jack Johnson's right hook."
- Mark Daniels, 1915

In 1907 a rough springhouse structure was built over the Bromide Spring. Repeatedly damaged by flooding and later greatly improved, the springhouse served visitors until the Civilian Conservation Corps built a new Bromide Pavilion, on the north side of Rock Creek, in the mid-1930s.

 
Man and woman dispensing mineral water

Visitors dispensing mineral water in the Bromide Pavilion, 1960.

NPS/Jack Boucher

Historically, informal crossings or fords existed to access these springs from across Rock Creek; later a series of bridges were built. The first was the "swinging bridge," built in 1908; a suspension bridge, it was washed away during a flood in 1916. A steel structure was built to replace it, known as the "rainbow bridge." This bridge was removed in 1942, following the removal of the springhouse over the Bromide Spring.

The distinctive Bromide Pavilion dispensed mineral waters reliably for over thirty years. In the early 1970s flow from the Bromide and nearby Medicine springs ceased suddenly; the loss of these once sought-after springs is the most significant resource change the park has witnessed. Today only city water is piped to the Bromide Pavilion.

The massive stone blocks of the Bromide Pavilion, and it's drinking fountains stand as a testament to the age when visitors flocked to the park for the perceived medicinal value of the waters found here.

 

U. S. Analysis—Bromide Spring

Ingredients (b) parts per million

Ferric Oxide

8.0

Carbon Dioxide (a)

114.0

Calcium

60.8

CO3 in normal Carbonates

277.0

Magnesium

20.0

SO4 in Sulphates

42.1

Sodium

1700.0

Chlorine

1986.0

Potassium

6.0

Bromine

12.4

Lithium

Trace

Silica

29.6

(a) Excess of CO representing bicarbonates

(b) No iodine or sulphites


Did You Know?

Historic photograph of the Platt National Park golf course

In 1923 a golf course was built in Platt National Park [the Platt Historic District in the present Chickasaw National Recreation Area]. In 1935 the golf course was ordered closed, and little evidence remains of it today. More...