Our History: 150 years of Mountain Valley Spring Water — and counting

Mountain Valley didn’t become the country’s oldest and most award-winning bottled water brand overnight. Our purely sourced, naturally mineralized spring water has delighted drinkers for more than 150 years. From moguls to mob bosses, The Sultan of Swat to The King of Rock, follow us down Mountain Valley memory lane and take a swig of history.

1908 — Strangers on a Train: Two Moguls Bet Big on Mountain Valley

On a train from Hot Springs, Arkansas to New York City in 1908, two strangers struck an unlikely partnership over bottles of Mountain Valley Spring Water. In the first of our “Talking Bottles” series, hear this story directly from the source.

A Hunk, A Hunk of Bottle Love

In this episode of “Talking Bottles,” our 1976 bottle tells lip-curling, hip-swinging, toe-tapping tales of touring with Elvis Presley, and its legendary life adorning the walls of Graceland.

“I like Ike” — Ike likes me, too

In this episode of “Talking Bottles,” our 1958 bottle gets presidential, sharing tales of its time in the White House where it hydrated a five-star general and the leader of the free world.

2021 - Refreshingly Famous, Famously Delicious

In the final installment of “Talking Bottles,” our modern-day bottle proves celebrities, and celebrated chefs, are just like us: They need refreshment, too.

Mountain Valley Springs to Life in 1871

Pharmacist Peter Greene and his brother John invested in a mineral spring in The Ouachita Mountains of Hot Springs, Arkansas. They renamed the spring after a nearby township, bottling its waters for distribution throughout the region and, eventually, across the country. And so, Mountain Valley Spring Water sprang to life.

Postcards From a Hot Springs Paradise:

In the early 1900s, the Mountain Valley Hotel in Arkansas’s Hot Springs National Park was the place to be. This stunning, three-story property with its lush gardens and onsite spring — fed by the same pure, crisp waters we still bottle to this day — beckoned wellness seekers from around the world.

Mountain Valley Ginger Ale Kept the 1920s Roaring

In The Roaring Twenties, as Prohibition settled in and bootleggers did all they could to get around it, a new nonalcoholic beverage gained popularity: pale and dry ginger ale. Bartenders needed a powerful soda that could match the potency of illicit moonshine, and beverage companies throughout the country set out to fill that demand — including Mountain Valley. Green, 12-ounce bottles of Mountain Valley “pale dry ginger ale” from 1920 are on display in our Hot Springs Visitors Center.

(Accidentally) Abetting Al Capone in the 1920s

Our Hot Springs home has attracted some notorious visitors, including the infamous Al Capone. The mobster lived part-time in suite 443 of The Arlington Resort Hotel. The Fort Smith Times Record reported Capone’s suite housed a secret passage to the Ohio Club, Arkansas’s oldest bar. Capone would strike moonshine deals at the club, then
sneak his illegal booze back to Chicago in bottles labeled “Mountain Valley Water.” 

Mountain Valley 1920s Advertising Pamphlet

In the early 20th century, pamphlets like this one from 1922 printed by a Cleveland distributor were mailed or handed out to potential customers.

Delivering from The Source since 1871

It took much more than leg work to make Mountain Valley Spring Water the first bottled water to be delivered coast to coast in the U.S. It took mule work and wagon work and 55-gallon drums hauled in the beds of Ford Model Ts.

Mountain Valley 1940s Sales Brochure

In the 1940s, Mountain Valley Spring
Water was 70 years young. Much has changed since then, but according to this sales brochure from the era, some things haven’t. Our purely sourced Ouachita Mountain spring water remains mineral rich and can still be delivered to your doorstep — home or office. We still proudly call Hot Springs, Arkansas home, and our claims of “delicious to the taste” are now backed up by some serious awards (19, to be exact). Mountain Valley Spring Water has come a long way in our 150 years, but the water at the heart of our business is as naturally refreshing as ever.

1950s era Mountain Valley Spring Water advertisement

Metal signs such as this vintage Mountain Valley Spring Water advertisement were popular in the early to mid 1900s, appearing across the country at roadside gas stations and neighborhood markets.

1960s: Mountain Valley an Odds-On Favorite at Oaklawn

The Mountain Valley Handicap, later known as the Mountain Valley Stakes, was a longstanding annual tradition at Oaklawn, one of the premiere thoroughbred racetracks in the country since 1904, located in our hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas. At six furlongs — just under a mile — the horse race took about 1 minute, 10 seconds most years.

1980’s Mountain Valley Spring Water Advertising

This “sell sheet” from the 1980s would have been used by Mountain Valley distributors to spread the good word about our premium water to potential customers.

The Official Spring Water of Chiefs and Champions

In the 1990s, as the Kansas City Chiefs topped the NFL’s AFC West Division, Mountain Valley was there. In fact, it was all over this great city. “Today, you will find Mountain Valley Spring Water in Kansas City’s finest homes, offices and restaurants, as well as throughout the Chiefs’ offices and training facilities,” a 1990s ad campaign noted of “The official spring water of the Chiefs.” It concluded: “We’re proud that the Chiefs are carrying on the championship tradition.”

A Mountain Valley Holiday

We were honored to have Hot Springs Mayor Pat McCabe declare Oct. 9, 2021 as the first official Mountain Valley Spring Water Day in our beloved hometown.

Timeline of milestones in our history

Click & Drag


Pharmacist Peter Greene and his brother John invested in a mineral spring in The Ouachita Mountains of Hot Springs, Arkansas. They renamed the spring after a nearby township, bottling its waters for distribution throughout the region and, eventually, across the country. And so, Mountain Valley Spring Water sprang to life.


The Mountain Valley Water Company officially formed, with Zeb Ward, G.G. Latta, Samuel Fordyce and Samuel Stitt as principal investors and company officers. Peter Greene remained as local manager. The 1883 Hot Springs City Directory listed Mountain Valley as one of 12 incorporated companies in the city.


Ownership of the spring was transferred to a major stockholder named August Schlafly, making hime and his family the sole owners

Franchise offices followed in Chicago, Illinois, and New York City, some out of pure coincidence and shared enjoyment of the same spring water.


Mountain Valley Water becomes the favorite among the United States Senate, and remains so today. We are proud to say that President after President has served Mountain Valley at the White House.

Schlafly purchased the DeSoto Spring Mineral Water Company, located at 150 Central Avenue in Hot Springs. The two-story, Classical revival brick building was built specifically to house a mineral water depot.


We stretched our legs and distribution began in California, making Mountain Valley the first bottled water to be available coast to coast.


Clinicians note improvements in the health of patients suffering from kidney and liver disorders and rheumatism after introducing our 7.8 pH water into their diets.


Mountain Valley Water Company makes the DeSoto building its national headquarters and visitor center.


The Schlaflys sold the company to a group of distributors under the leadership of John G. Scott. The company’s headquarters were moved to Paramus, New Jersey, and the historic Mountain Valley building was closed.


Gammons Enterprises of Dallas, Texas, purchased the company and returned administrative operations to Hot Springs. Gammons sold the company on April 2004 to private ownership.


Mountain Valley Spring Water tied for first out of 34 international entrants in the Coolfont Resort’s bottled-water competition in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia (now known as the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting). Mountain Valley also placed second out of eight entrants in the sparkling-water competition. This was our first first-place finish — and a sign of things to come. Mountain Valley is now the most award-winning bottled water in the U.S.


Mountain Valley wins two Gold Medals for Best Sparkling and Best Flavored Essence Sparkling at The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting.


We’re still bottled at the source, shipped coast to coast, and naturally ionized. We haven’t fussed with much, and we still offer the same, convenient home + office delivery we’ve had since day one.

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