The original Healing Waters building (main lodge) was built in 1891 in Sheridan, Montana. It was intended to be the first hospital in Sheridan which meant that it had a surgery, living quarters for the doctor and a couple of rooms for patients. Through the years the building went through a number of different iterations and its last life in Sheridan was as a family residence with a brick façade. In the mid 1980’s Jim and Sara Cox bought the old brick house, stripped the bricks from the wooden frame and moved the original 1891 wooden frame onto its current location. For the next two years the Coxes lovingly restored the old hospital with stone quarried locally in the Twin Bridges area, hand hewn timbers from western Montana and hardwood floors from their original family farm in Pennsylvania. Because the original building was a hospital and it was moved to the banks of the small pond located just off Wisconsin Creek, the Coxes named their newly restored home, Healing Waters Estate. In the late 1980’s Jim and Sara Cox moved to South Carolina and put Healing Waters Estate up for sale.
Greg and Janet Lilly purchased Healing Waters Estate from Jim and Sara Cox in 1996. The main house, garden shed and workshop had been for sale and sitting empty for seven years. Between January 14, 1997 and April 14, 1997 the Lillys did some minor remodeling of the main house, remodeled a storage room connected to the main house to create one guest room (The Chief Joseph) then converted the two story workshop into four guest rooms and Healing Waters Fly Fishing Lodge was born. On April 15, 1997 as the dust was still settling from the departure of the contractors, the first guest arrived at Healing Waters Lodge.
Greg and Janet Lilly retained the name Healing Waters because fly fishing is considered by many practitioners to be “healing to the soul”. For six seasons the Lilly’s strived to provide a fishing, lodging and dining experience that would truly send their guests home with renewed energy and a fresh outlook on life.
In 2002 the Lilly’s sold Healing Waters lodge to the Sywassink family. The Sywassinks operated the lodge until 2006 when they put the lodge up for sale and moved on to other business interests. Having missed all their old friends in the fishing business, Greg and Janet Lilly and partners Bill and Mary Kemph decided to return to Healing Waters and purchased the lodge business from the Sywassinks in the fall of 2007.
The Lillys and the Kemphs are anxious to renew long established relationships with old guests and to welcome new anglers to Healing Waters Lodge and the terrific fishing of SW Montana.