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Hot Springs County, located in northern Wyoming, is a fascinating place with a rich history that has left an indelible mark on the region. From its famous hot springs to its historic landmarks, the county offers visitors a glimpse into the past and a peek into the future. Here are seven interesting facts about Hot Springs County that you may not know.

1. Hot Springs County is home to the world's largest single mineral hot spring. Known as the "Big Spring," it measures 80 feet in diameter and produces over 3.6 million gallons of water per day. The hot water reaches a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a popular destination for visitors seeking relaxation or therapeutic treatments.

2. The county was first explored by Europeans in the early 1800s, when John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, ventured into the area. Colter was said to have discovered the hot springs and named the nearby river "Thermopolis," which means "hot city" in Greek.

3. The first permanent settlement in Hot Springs County was established in 1884 when a group of settlers moved to the area. The town was named "Thermopolis" and quickly became a hub for travelers seeking relief from respiratory and rheumatic issues.

4. In 1903, the area became a national reservation, and the hot springs were designated as a national park. Today, Hot Springs State Park is a popular destination for visitors to the county and offers a variety of attractions, including a free bathhouse, hiking trails, and a bison herd.

5. In 1916, the first oil well in Hot Springs County was drilled, marking the beginning of the county's significant oil industry. The oil boom brought a surge of workers to the area, leading to the establishment of several new towns and the expansion of existing ones.

6. During World War II, Hot Springs County played a critical role in the production of military equipment. The county was home to several tactical training centers and provided critical resources for the war effort.

7. In 1987, a major earthquake struck Hot Springs County, causing extensive damage to the area's infrastructure and buildings. Despite the damage, the county has since made a significant recovery and continues to thrive as a popular tourist destination and hub for outdoor recreation.

In conclusion, Hot Springs County is an intriguing destination that offers a glimpse into Wyoming's rich history. From its world-renowned hot springs to its thriving oil industry, the county has played a critical role in shaping the region's past, present, and future. Whether you're a history buff or an outdoor enthusiast, there's something for everyone in Hot Springs County.

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