March 11, 2016 • by Glen Ivy Contributor
This year, Glen Ivy Hot Springs turns 156 years old! The first commercial use of the mineral springs can be traced back to 1860, and for more than 156 years Glen Ivy Hot Springs has attracted people who seek the benefits of nature, water and exercise, the pleasures of good food and camaraderie with others – the relaxation, renewal, and deep sense of wellbeing a day at the hot springs can bring. Join us this month as we celebrate this historic birthday!
A Brief Chronological History of Glen Ivy Hot Springs:
1850 – The Golden State entered the Union after the discovery of gold in 1849. The population exploded with westward migration and the quiet rural lands near Temescal Sulphur Springs, as Glen Ivy Hot Springs was known prior to the 1880s, saw great growth.
September 8, 1860 – Abraham Lincoln was campaigning for President when the Temescal Sulphur Springs (Glen Ivy Hot Springs) natural waters were first advertised in the Los Angeles Star.
1870s – The first country inn to later carry the name Glen Ivy Hot Springs was an adobe construction dating from the 1870s. At this time, the price of a swim in the mineral waters back then was just 25¢, including bathing suit and towel!
1880s – Owners William & Louisa Steers conceive the name Glen Ivy Hot Springs. The Steers were from England where a canyon is often called a “glen.” Growing in glorious profusion by the springs were vines of wild grape whose leaves resembling the ivy growing on buildings in England. Although no one knows for certain how it happened, one could imagine Mrs. Steers out one morning, walking up Coldwater Creek to bathe when suddenly the name “Glen Ivy” leapt into her mind.
1913 – Frank and Mabel Johnson purchased the property. They completed the expansion of the old adobe into a real hotel in 1922, and built a concrete bathhouse in 1927. Automobiles brought Glen Ivy Hot Springs even closer to a burgeoning Los Angeles population. Glen Ivy Hot Spring’s reputation for healing waters and comfortable service spread and the Johnsons’ dreams were becoming realized. Glen Ivy Hot Springs flourished. In addition to the hotel and bath house, they built guest cottages and more mineral baths, and added 30 acres of citrus trees.
1937 – Danish hotelier Axel Springborg assumed ownership of the property and business.
1940s and 50s – Under Axel Springborg, Glen Ivy transformed further into a destination resort in the prosperous post-war economy.
1977 – A new ownership group brought the standout features Glen Ivy is known for including the Lounge Pool (1984), Club Mud, The Grotto (2002), and Under the Oaks (2007). In 1999 the present Bath House was opened, the Roman Baths added to it in 2001, and the whole building upgraded and enlarged in 2005 to accommodate more guests. In 2006 Café Solé opened serving fare from acclaimed chef Bill Wavrin. The rooftop Solé Terrace and Cabañas have been delighting guests since then too. Along with various new pools and deck areas, treatment capacity was gradually raised to the present 72 rooms/stations in five buildings.
2016 – GOCO Hospitality acquired historic Glen Ivy Hot Springs, and developed plans for expanding the world-class wellness resort community on this land surrounded by organic orchards, the Santa Ana Mountains national preserve, and adjacent golf course. The immediate investment will be used to enhance the current hot springs spa and set the stage for future expansion. Touching on the hot springs storied past, GOCO intends to create overnight accommodations, as well as allow nighttime access. GOCO plans to build on Glen Ivy’s pristine reputation with thoughtful renovations, expansions, and program development that aim to put them as a top destination for tourists and Californians alike.
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