Milford and Martha (Mattie) Shirley Givens pulled up Missouri roots and headed west in 1878, apparently bound for Portland, Oregon where relatives were settled. Their journey eventually led them along the South Alternative Route of the Oregon Trail. Reaching the hot springs area, Mattie recognized the potential of the site that now bears the family name and declared,"This is were I want to Live."
In the spring of 1881 the Givens took up Squatter's Rights on 154 1/2 acres that included two hot springs and land along the banks of the Snake River. They built a comfortable 2-story house and planted shade and fruit trees. Their property became a popular site to bathe and wash clothes. Soon, learning of the value of therapeutic soaking in the hot water springs, miners from Silver City, local residents and Oregon Trail travelers frequented the Given's property. Milford augmented income by hauling his catch of sturgeon, dear and antelope to sell to the restaurants and butcher shops of Silver City.
In 1889 the Givens decided to visit family in Portland, apparently unaware that leaving the property would allow others to obtain the land under the same law that permitted them to hold Squatter's Rights. Matti's brother, Tim Shirley who lived nearby became aware of the interloper's intent. He rushed to Silver City to file Homestead Rights. President Grover Cleveland recognized the Homestead claim on December 19, 1894. Early the next year, Tim deeded the property over to his sister, Mattie.
With the help of family and other carpenters, a swimming pool, pool house and hotel were built about 1902. The hotel burned in 1939, however the pool house survived the fire and continued to operate until the current structure was built in 1952.
The following contributors, to recognize the historical importance of this site, herein present this monument and bronze plaques on this 10th day of September, 2011 and in the year of our order 6016.