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Beginning in 1891, the Bottling Plant took water from the Ute Chief Gusher, south of the existing bottling plant across the street. Destroyed by fire, the current site houses the rebuilt bottling plant no longer in operation. The spring's font still stands. However, it is closed off to the public and no longer running. It was famous back in the day and was one of the sources for the “Ute Chief Mineral Water” and Manitou Springs bottling company.

Ute Chief Bottling Plant 1947

Photo by Leaf McGowan & Thomas Baurley,

Ute Chief Bottling Plant 1947

Plant, Window, Building, Tree

Ute Chief Gusher

Plant, Botany, Line, Tree

Located at the western end of Manitou Avenue and privately owned, there are “no trespassing signs” dotting the fence and property. Remnants of the decaying old water bottling plant remain in the backdrop. Fences surround the compound. The waters are dried up and no longer flow. Others say it was shut down several years ago because of safety concerns. When it did flow, the artist’s sculpture font was popular depicting a Native American male taking of the waters (created by Steve Titus) and promoted the symbolic usage of the waters.

The Ute Chief Mineral Springs bottling works was founded by Jacob Schueler. When the water was flowing, users described its taste to be similar to that of “Perrier” mineral water. It had the lowest mineral content in town, though 2 1/2 times lower than the minerals found in “Perrier” hosting a TDS of 1,200. In 2003 the bottling plant was purchased by a Korean pharmacist named O Yoon Kwon living in New York City. It began shipping water in 2006, primarily to Korea, but shipping, business, and economics made it difficult although it was nicknamed the “World’s best water”. The Manitou Springs Foundation offered to take over the spring and refurbish the location, but the owner didn’t go with the proposal.

Historic Manitou Springs, Inc., is an educational non-profit based in Manitou Springs, Colorado, at the foot of Pikes Peak which operates the Manitou Springs Heritage Center and was formed in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Our mission is to collect, preserve, research, and interpret the history and culture of Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak Region.

The intent of the organization is to educate citizens and visitors in order to increase appreciation and understanding of this unique community. Before opening the Center Historic Manitou was operated by a board of three persons–Jean Garrity, Deborah Harrison, and Michelle Anthony. During the initial 10 years, we developed a track record of participating in and supporting community projects and events, such as restoration of the Eastern Gateway Arch, rehabilitation of Mansions Park, installation of over 30 Historic Interpretive Plaques throughout town, and placement of the memorial in Crystal Valley Cemetery for Emma Crawford. We have presented the “Ghost Stories of Old Manitou” haunted walking tours as part of the Annual Emma Crawford Festival (i.e., the events surrounding the Coffin Races) since its inception.

Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley. Old Chief Ute Spring, Old Ute Chief Spring (Manitou Springs, Co). December 22nd 2016. Accessed January 14th 2022.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Manitou Springs Heritage Center