The Native Americans who traveled in this region long ago considered the land around the springs sacred. The bubbles, or natural carbonation in the water, represented to them the breath of the Great Spirit “Manitou”. With the westward spread of early settlements and the foresight of individuals like the town’s founder Dr. William A. Bell, Manitou Springs developed around the mineral springs, becoming a destination resort for people desiring a health vacation in the “Saratoga of the West”. Visitors arrived with doctors’ prescriptions to drink specific waters as a cure for their ills.