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Frontier Spa

How a Dry Hole Became a Resort in Just 600 feet


March 11, 2020

Jane Stanfel

Once a Frontier Spa

A few miles outside Miles City in 1956 Shell Oil drilled 8,230 feet before all Hell broke loose. Instead of oil they struck a vein of hot, high pressure water, the same for which Yellowstone Park is famous.

From April to June the drillers sought to plug it, for they were convinced that oil lay beneath the steamy layer. On 7 June drilling resumed, only to blow again at 8,256 feet deep. On the third attempt, the Fourth of July, the geyser erupted like a patriotic rocket from a depth of 8, 840 feet.

At that point, valves were installed on top the casing, so that owner John Roberts and his neig...

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