The Legend Flows On
The history of our company starts in 1871, but the
legend of our spring can be traced back to the native Indian tribes who
laid down their weapons to take the waters here. In 1541, Spanish
explorer Hernando DeSoto named the area “The Valley of Peace” after
discovering warring Indian tribes sharing the “recuperative waters.”
Now known as Hot Springs National Park, the area is a
protected watershed famous for its warm thermal springs as well as a
number of cool springs. The cool spring that continues to draw
nationwide attention for its purity and unique mineral content is the
source of Mountain Valley Spring Water.
Originally sold as Lockett’s Spring Water, it quickly
established a reputation in the local area for its remarkable quality.
Then in 1871, a pharmacist named Peter E. Greene changed the name to
Mountain Valley Spring Water and began distributing it nationally. In
1879, he sold the company to W. N. Benton of St. Louis, who promoted
Mountain Valley Spring Water as a cure-all. He’s quoted by Hot
Springs Illustrated Monthly as saying:
"The value of the water has long been known, and the springs are visited
by large numbers of invalids who fail to find relief from the thermal
waters here, and are frequently speedily cured by the use of the
Mountain Valley Spring Water alone. The shipment of this water to all
parts of the country in barrels and bottles has become quite a
By 1917, Mountain Valley Water had become well known as
a remedy in the treatment of gout, rheumatism, diabetes, and kidney
diseases. Some even believed the water to be radioactive because of its
unexplainable curing properties.
In 1921, the first clinical studies were conducted to discover the secrets
of the water and its therapeutic effects. Many hospitals, doctors, and
medical journals claimed their patients improved considerably after
taking the water. Medical studies continued into the 1930s until
interrupted by World War II.
In the 1920s, Calvin Coolidge was the first president to
enjoy Mountain Valley Spring Water in the White House. In 1955, after
suffering a heart attack, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was advised by
his physicians to drink Mountain Valley Spring Water. Both he and
President Reagan used to take it on their trips abroad. All told, 13
U.S. presidents have enjoyed our water. And in the United States Senate,
Mountain Valley Spring Water has been served since the 1920s.
1966, the company was sold and the headquarters were moved to New
Jersey. But in 1987, Dallas-based Sammons Enterprises bought the company
and returned the headquarters to Hot Springs, Arkansas. One of the
best-known structures in the historic Hot Springs downtown district, the
Mountain Valley Water building underwent extensive restoration.
Then-Governor Bill Clinton spoke at the re-dedication ceremony in 1988.
2004, following the purchase of Mountain Valley by Clear Mountain Spring
Water LLC of Little Rock, more renovations were begun in order to return
the Visitors Center to a more historically authentic state.
Making the nightly news
Below is a newsclip about Mountain Valley from an ABC
News broadcast in 1970:
- August 17th, 1970
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