Hot springs that have proved beneficial for health and recreation have been discovered in what was formerly Gallatin County. Hunter’s Hot Springs, now in Park County, were discovered by Dr. A. J. Hunter, an early Montana pioneer, in 1864, while he and his family were traveling overland from Missouri on the way to Alder Gulch. Later, he secured a patent to the land, developed the springs, treated hundreds of patients and finally sold the property and spent the rest of his days in Bozeman. Chico Hot Springs, now in Park County, have been visited by many for health and recreation. Bozeman Hot Springs, about seven miles southwest of Bozeman, were first known as Matthews’ Hot Springs, when Jerry Matthews, with an outdoor pool and bathhouses, helped people to secure health and recreation there. E. M. Ferris made important improvements to the plant and it was a popular resort for several years then the property lay idle for a few years, until Sam Collett secured the property and he and his son Gerald erected a large bathhouse and pool that were destroyed by fire. They built a larger pool and bathhouse, with private baths for the sick, and with the large recreation hall and the immense grove and picnic grounds provided a healthful and popular resort, especially during the summer months.
Many Gallatin Valley families have summer homes in Gallatin and Middle Creek or Hyalite canyons, and people from various parts of Montana as well as from the far east spend part of the summer at Karst Kamp, the Buffalo Horn or “320” ranch or the Elkhorn Ranch in Gallatin, or at the Rising Sun Ranch on Taylor’s Fork of the Gallatin River.
On the school grounds of the cities and in most of the rural districts, plots have been set aside for playgrounds with equipment of various kinds. At Beall Park in Bozeman, is a municipal park and playground under supervision, with the grounds equipped with special apparatus, with ball grounds, tennis courts and picnic grounds, band stand for use during the summer, and with a large plot of ground made into a skating rink in the winter time. A beautiful community building or recreation center was built and presented to the city by Mrs. E. Broox Martin, the ground having been secured from Mrs. W. J. Beall through funds raised by private subscription. Trees and shrubbery have been added to those raised by pioneers.
Bogert Grove Park was purchased by the city, and for a time was used as a tourist park by the city, but it is now used for picnics and for Boy Scout gatherings. Cooper Park was presented to the city through the efforts of Walter Cooper, and is a beauty spot used some for picnics in the summer.