Hot Wells Resort and Spa

Located about 16 miles west of Alexandria on Bayou Rapides Road and Highway 121 was the Hot Wells Resort, near Boyce, Louisiana, and present-day Cotile Lake.

Hot Wells: The Early Years

The small community of Hot Wells dates back to the 1830s. The curative and therapeutic waters were discovered there in early 1913 by a crew drilling for oil. The workers uncovered a well flowing with hot water from half-mile underground. One worker washed his hands in the water and the next day a skin rash, that had bothered him for years, was cleared up. The "wonder waters" contained magnesium and three forms of calcium.

News spread about the healing waters, and the site became popular. In 1917 the Hot Wells Sanitarium Company opened a spa and swimming pool along with a hotel and restaurant.

The Facilities at the Hot Wells Resort

Over the years a full resort with hotel rooms, spa, restaurant, and pool were built. The grounds offered a quiet respite for guests, and were covered with trees and places to walk.

Guests playing shuffleboard at the Hot Wells Resort in Central Louisiana near Boyce

Guests could choose from a hot mineral bath, whirlpool or regular, or a massage. In addition to the baths, guests also could use a pool in which they could stick their feet and hands in the water.

The motel offered apartments or kitchenettes, a restaurant specializing in Louisiana cuisine, playground, picnic facilities, shuffleboard courts, and a fresh-water swimming pool.

We remember dangling our feet in the hot steaming waters of the original well at the bottom of the hill during the 1950s.

The Slow Demise of the Hot Wells Resort

In 1938, Hot Wells came under the control of the Louisiana Department of Hospitals. The State poured money into the resort over the years, but waning popularity meant continued financial losses. It was refurbished again in 1983 but the resort continued on it destination to failure. It was closed to the public for the last time in 1986, and used by the Louisiana National Guard for a time thereafter.

In early 2007 the buildings were demolished by the State of Louisiana. The site is located at coordinates: 31°20'7"N 92°42'55"W.

Today, the main buildings of the resort are gone, but some structures, homes and buildings remain in the small community of Hot Wells.


Vintage Views of the Hot Wells Resort

The vintage postcards shown below give views of the facilities at Hot Wells in its better days.

Hot Wells Resort near Boyce and Alexandria Louisiana

Image courtesy of the Dale Genius Collection

Hot Wells Resort - Main Entrance

Near Boyce and Alexandria Louisiana

Demolished 2007

Hot Wells Resort, 1950s

Near Boyce and Alexandria Louisiana

Demolished

Hot Wells Resort swimming pool

Demolished

Hot Wells Resort swimming pool close up

Hot Wells Resort

Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Digital Library

Hot Wells Resort

Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Digital Library

Hot Wells Resort

Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Digital Library

Playing shuffleboard at Hot Wells Resort

Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Digital Library

Typical room at the Hot Wells Resort

Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Digital Library


 

Interactive Map of the Hot Wells Resort Area

 

More About the History of Hot Wells

A local resident of Alexandria, Larry Jorgensen, has written a detailed history of Hot Wells entitled "Hot Wells: A Louisiana Ghost".

The book can be purchased at a number of locations around Central Louisiana, such as at the Kent House Gift Shop, the MacArthur Drive Lines Club, Silver Dollar Pawn, Boyce Farmers Coop, Grant Hardware in Colfax, Tunk's and Georgia's Gift Shop in Natchitoches.

For more information, send email to glmanagement40@gmail.com

Shown below is a YouTube video interview with Larry on KALB-TV in which he discusses the book.