It was the original Arizona “summer getaway.”
Pre-settlement tribes of Yavapai and Apache called these hot springs “magic waters.” Each day, 180,000 gallons fill three natural pools with 118-degree water. The 210 acres surrounding the pools became a resort in 1896, opening their facilities to both the sick and wealthy.
As the retreat grew, it became known as the “grand dowager” of Arizona resorts and expanded with more buildings and custom bungalows constructed for some of the state’s wealthiest visitors. Amenities included a movie theater, golf course and a 125,000-gallon swimming pool. Famous families that frequented the resort included the Rockefellers, Wrigleys and Carnegies. Several presidents, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover, also visited the bubbling waters. During World War II, the site was leased to the military as a place for injured pilots to recuperate. Future president John F. Kennedy was among the convalescing guests.
In 1976, a large fire destroyed the main building of the resort, forcing its closure. It remained closed and changed ownership many times, and another fire in 1996 destroyed a bungalow once occupied by the Wrigleys. The remaining buildings and shrubbery are maintained by caretakers to preserve the historic integrity of the resort.
In late February 2014, a group called CHS3 Holdings LLC bought the property at auction for $1.95 million. Investors are reportedly reviewing options for future use of the property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Meanwhile, the hot springs continue to flow through the pools, and the buildings remain void of visitors. But one hopeful relic remains: an American flag, a gift for the resort’s services during WWII that is still maintained by the Boys Scouts of America.
Thirty years before Woodstock made his maiden landing on Snoopy’s belly, a cat named Krazy was dodging bricks in a pioneering newspaper comic strip. ...
The Lincoln Legacy
North Phoenix owes two of its hospitals, a street name, a resort, and much of its community spirit to one visionary man. ...
Over the Hump
Fifty years ago this month, conservationists including Barry Goldwater came together to save Camelback Mountain from development. The tram would rise from the base of Camelback Mountain to an “oasis” at the summit, the black-and-white sk...
As Tempe celebrates its musical legacy, friends remember the troubled life of late Gin Blossoms guitarist Doug Hopkins. Local musician Lawrence Zubia tells a story about Doug Hopkins, in which Hopkins hops a slow-moving freight train at Mill Avenue,...
Fifty-two years ago, Valley TV personality Sherri Finkbine terminated a tragic pregnancy –and unwittingly gave birth to a controversial legacy that lives on today. It was the biggest medical story in Arizona history. And more than a half centu...