Among those Civil War veterans who were owed back pay by the US government at the end of the war included Thomas Valentine. Financially drained by the immense cost of the war, the government offered soldiers an opportunity to take a piece of land instead of their back pay. Valentine ventured west after the war and in the course of his wandering he found himself well upstream on the Sun River, at the confluence of the river’s North and South Forks. There he discovered hot springs, long used by Indians for their healing properties. Wild game was abundant and land and surroundings were breathtaking.
Thomas Valentine found a piece of paradise and soon thereafter was granted, by an Act of Congress in 1872, a forty-acre tract of land as compensation for his unpaid service in the Union Army.
Long used by Indians, pioneers, trappers, and loggers, Medicine Springs (as the hot springs were known) became the province of the Klick family in 1927. Three generations of Klicks have developed the property as a guest ranch, hauling in the building materials by boat and mule train to establish guest quarters, lodge, corrals, outbuildings and hot springs swimming pool.
Its remote location “beyond all roads” as the owners often say, the creature comforts afforded by clean and potable water, electricity to run basic lighting, refrigeration, and appliance operation are impressive.