PIERRE, S.D. – Frederick Evans is remembered as the man who developed Hot Springs, S.D., into a health resort destination. He capitalized on the area’s warm mineral waters, creating a town still known for its healing atmosphere and historic significance. His vision for Hot Springs makes him one of South Dakota’s Great Faces.
Evans was born in Ohio and eventually moved his family to Sioux City, Iowa. Always an entrepreneur, Evans began a freighting business to the Black Hills when gold was discovered there. After becoming interested in the Minnekahta (warm waters) in the southern Black Hills, Evans saw the potential of the area and decided to build the town now known as Hot Springs.
One of the first projects Evans oversaw was the Minnekahta Hotel, which is now the Evans Hotel. Other efforts included many bathhouses, commercial buildings, and the naturally warm, spring-fed indoor swimming pool known as Evans Plunge, which is one of the area’s largest tourism attractions.
Due to the historical significance of the warm springs and the historic architecture influenced by Evans’ trips to Europe, Hot Springs was designated one of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2009 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
South Dakota’s Great Faces weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism, designed to highlight people who have had significant impacts on South Dakota, particularly in the visitor industry. Click on the special “South Dakota’s Great Faces” link at www.MediaSD.com
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