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Elko Hot Springs Natatorium

south of the Humboldt River just east of 'Hot Hole'

Elko, Elko County, Nevada


~  in progress  ~


This promises to be a fun page.  I have visited the area around the Hot Hole on many occasions over the last few years.  Mostly taking visitors to see the Hot Hole or the hot springs adjacent to the Humboldt River.  We have wandered around, chased snakes, skipped rocks in the Humboldt river, discussed the "Hobo Jungle" that was once in this area, and basically enjoyed ourselves.  When I've visited this area, I always wondered about the slot cut in the eastern flank of the Hot Hole and what was the purpose of a rather large concrete slab east of the Hot Hole.  The slab is curious in that it contains some rather large rectangular dirt areas within its boundaries.  I never knew what this could possibly be -  until now.  Saturday I was reading the most recent Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, 2002-3.  The Quarterly is a two part affair that contains a WONDERFUL article written by Al Mour entitled "Elko Summer".  It is Al's remembrances of growing up in Elko in the early to mid 1940s.  This Quarterly is available in limited quantities from the Northeastern Nevada Museum.  The article contains many historical photos of Elko accumulated by the Historical Society to bring Mr. Mour's story to life.  Then on page 105, it all came clear.  The slab area was the original Elko municipal swimming pool.  


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Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 2002-3, Elko Summer, Parts 1 and  2, by Al Mour, page 105, Photo:  Museum Collection, Morris and Mary Lou Gallagher, Donors


This morning I called Dr. Tom Gallagher and verified that this was indeed the pool.  Then later in the afternoon I stopped by the Northeastern Nevada Museum and spoke briefly with Jan Petersen, Curator, who said that the pool was originally called, from my memory, the Hot Springs Natatorium (Natatorium meaning: a pool that provides a facility for swimming).  I don't know the dates of the pool's operation yet but the people I talked with today seemed to remember it was backfilled in the early 1950's.  A new pool was then constructed at the park near the current pool location.  Obviously, the Hot Hole pool existed in the early to mid - 1940's.   When and who constructed it - I don't know.  Mr. Mour's article contains a three page discussion of this pool - which is a must read.  The water for the pool was obtained from the Hot Hole.  Well, I have rambled quite enough.  Let's go see history - the history of some good times had in Elko's past.  If you wish to add more ... let me know.



USGS Topographic Map of Elko

Hot Hole at Center Left of Map


USGS Aerial Photograph of Elko Hot Hole



Click on photos to enlarge


Standing at the Hot Hole looking 'east'.  The old swimming pool is at the nearest clump of green trees.  The concrete slab is just left of the trees.  The water to fill the pools were taken from the hot hole via a slot cut in the eastern flank of the hot hole.
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Concrete slab of the pools is now used as a horse corral. 
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Water from the hot springs still comes down to the pool area via a pipe and small ditch.
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Concrete slab containing rectangular dirt areas (previously the pool locations).
Elko Hot Springs Natatorium
Elko Hot Springs Natatorium
Guardians of the old Natatorium.

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At Hot Hole on Bullion Road looking east - Old City Limits Marker.  Pool is to the left - off of photograph.

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Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 2002-3, Elko Summer, Parts 1 and  2, by Al Mour.







Hot Hole and Elko Hot Springs, Elko, Elko County, Nv 

Elko - Humboldt Hot Springs, Elko, Elko County, Nv 

Catlin's Oil From Shale Plant, Elko, Elko County, Nv

The Beekeeper,  Elko, Elko County, Nv






Additional Information:  Northeastern Nevada Museum

© 2002 - Elko Rose Garden Association

Recent Photos by Dan Turner, 10/13/02 and July 29, 2003