Project Partner: Henry W. Coe State Park
Located in Santa Clara County, California
Beginning in 1865 as a warm mineral water resort with hunting, fishing, hiking, and horseback activities for guests, Gilroy Hot Springs was a very popular destination spot for movers-and-shakers with time and money. Imagine a 3-hour train ride from San Francisco to Gilroy, an overnight stay in town, then a 3-hour horse and buggy ride up 12 miles of dirt trails to reach the place. This isn't a quick day trip; most guests stayed one or two weeks, at least.
The large resort was built by early settlers in the region, with a boom during the 1920s, affected by the development of the automobile. It was a popular site for dancing, poker, and socials. After a decline, the resort was bought in 1938 by a Japanese capitalist, who built a shrine and teahouse on the site, turning it into a Japanese gardens and hot spring. It became a popular destination for Japanese internees after World War II, was run as a private resort into the 1980s, and was finally purchased by the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 2003.
Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs was designated a California Historic Landmark 20 years ago. Guided tours are available and the site is now a popular picnicking and family area. Cabin restorations on the site began in 2011 and volunteers are encouraged to participate in regular opportunities to restore the resort to its former glory.
Volunteers worked with HistoriCorps field staff to learn new skills in restoring the Ohio and Pennsylvania cabins on the site. Scope of work for each involved:
- Assembling scaffolding and roof anchors
- Installing redwood shingles
- Repairing and replacing roof rafters
Gilroy, 13.5 miles
Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs is located within the Henry W. Coe State Park in Santa Clara County. It is situated in the hills just east of Gilroy, California, a 25 minute drive along dirt back roads.
13800 Gilroy Hot Springs
Gilroy, CA 95020
- Session 1 Registration
September 25, 2016 - October 2, 2016
- Session 2 Registration
October 6, 2016 - October 14, 2016
- Session 3 Registration
October 6, 2016 - October 10, 2016