ghsc-logo-283x300July 6, 2021

Volunteer Work Day Saturday 7/10

You can now register for our next public volunteer work day at Gilroy Hot Springs!  See below for more information.  Save the date to register for volunteer work days later this summer on 8/7 and 9/11.

We have now fund raised $13,792.06 out of our $95,000 goal to reopen Gilroy Hot Springs for public use in fall 2021.  Thank you donors! 

SAVE THE DATE for our 10/9/2021 fundraiser: 
Soak It All In: A day of water, wine and history of Gilroy Hot Springs.
More info coming in August!

To learn more or donate, check out our fundraiser here!

On Saturday 7/10, you are invited to volunteer at Gilroy Hot Springs.  We will be painting and removing graffiti from historical structures.  Register Here.

We will meet at the main gate at 8:45 am and then work from 9am-noon.  Volunteers will have the chance to enjoy a picnic lunch by the hot springs source after.

Please bring your own gloves!  Painting supplies will be provided by California State Parks and Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy.

 

 

ghsc-logo-283x300June 5, 2021

You can now register for our first public volunteer work day at Gilroy Hot Springs! See below for more information. Save the date to register for volunteer work days later this summer on 7/10, 8/7 and 9/11.
https://mailchi.mp/7051b8dfc1ba/register-65-volunteer-work-day-at-gilroy-hot-springs?e=c12828da47

ghsc-logo-283x300May 25, 2021

Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy plans to re-open the property one weekend per month in fall 2021 with soaking, camping and restored cabin rental. We have raised $6897 towards our $95k re-opening budget goal. Thank you donors!
https://mailchi.mp/2c929c972f99/renovations-resume-zoom-session-882271?e=c12828da47

ghsc-logo-283x300Apr. 27, 2021
We have had a busy month at Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy!

With covid restrictions loosening, renovations have resumed in preparation for our fall 2021 re-opening. Check out the photos below at a recent drone filming day with volunteer Lauren Cohn. Lauren is the the multimedia architect for Oracle and has been volunteering her time as a cinematographer, drone pilot and creative to help with the re-opening of the hot springs. We hope to show you her work soon!
https://mailchi.mp/069ba4b81f74/renovations-resume-zoom-session-427?e=24974332a7


ghsc-logo-283x300Mar. 23, 2021
We are full steam ahead at the hot springs.

Lots of great news from Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy. Our next Zoom info session is TONITE 3/23 7-7:30pm. The link is the same if you signed up for our last session but couldn’t make it. Not signed up yet? Register Here. Our next session is 4/27, also 7-7:30pm.
https://mailchi.mp/efeb1f5207f7/work-days-restart-zoom-session-tonite-history?e=24974332a7


ghsc-logo-283x300Feb. 20, 2021
GHSC earns tax exempt status with IRS!
Great news came from the IRS on 2/4: Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy is now officially a 501(c)3 non-profit campground! Thank you to everyone who has carried the torch in many different ways over many years to get us here.
https://mailchi.mp/83ee464f1773/irs-approval-zoom-info-session-223


ghsc-logo-283x300Jan. 13, 2021
Can you share your favorite photographs?
Happy New Year to all! Do you have favorite pictures of your time spent at our beloved Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs? Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy is looking for photographs that we can use on social media to promote our fundraising activities for our 2021 re-opening plans. We currently have only a small library of shareable content, not enough to get our social media campaign going.
https://mailchi.mp/bd737b9af44c/share-your-favorite-pics-from-gilroy-hot-springs?e=[UNIQID]>a?


Flag-pole1Nov. 27, 2020
NBC Bay Area at Gilroy Hot Springs.
Hello hot springs enthusiasts! Did you catch us on the local Thanksgiving night news? If not, check out and share widely this exclusive visit to Gilroy Hot Springs by Joe Rosato of NBC Bay Area:
https://mailchi.mp/acfee738784e/nbc-at-gilroy-hot-springs?e=[UNIQID]


reopen1Nov. 20, 2020
It’s Giving Tuesday at Gilroy Hot Springs.
Did you know that Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy is sponsored by the Gilroy Foundation while we await approval of tax exempt status? Give the gift of community healing this season by donating to our 2021 Reopening Fundraiser. We accept private as well as corporate donations. Reply to this email with any questions you have or to obtain our tax id number for corporate matching donations.
https://mailchi.mp/dfb4f32e4415/giving-tuesday-at-gilroy-hot-springs?e=[UNIQID]


Flag-pole1Nov. 4, 2020
Donate to soak and camp in 2021!
Dear Friends,

Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy is now accepting donations. Some donations are eligible to reserve the very first soaking and camping spots when we re-open in 2021. We hope this good news gives you hope and something to look forward to in difficult times.
https://mailchi.mp/8a9629b654fc/gilroy-hot-springs-fundraiser-is-live?e=[UNIQID]


reopen1Nov. 2, 2020
The time has come to return to Gilroy Hot Springs.
Can you imagine meeting your friends to soak in the healing waters at Gilroy Hot Springs? How about enjoying a meal and nap at your campsite after a day of soaking? Or even better, enjoying the sunrise and sunset from the deck of your Texas Cabin room? All of this and more is about to be possible in 2021. And we need your help.
https://mailchi.mp/0501ac3f8d57/gilroy-hot-springs-survives-scu-complex-fire-836912?e=[UNIQID]


complex-fire1Sept. 3, 2020
Gilroy Hot Springs has survived the SCU Complex fire

Great news came yesterday from Eddie Guaracha, Superintendent for California State Parks Diablo District: our beloved and precious Gilroy Hot Springs has survived the SCU Complex Fire. The fire came about 1/2 mile from the property and is no longer burning near by. Thank you Calfire for all your hard work!

https://mailchi.mp/57aa6f10a606/gilroy-hot-springs-survives-scu-complex-fire?e=[UNIQID]


Flag-pole1July 21, 2020
Please welcome our new Board of Directors.

Hello Gilroy Hot Springs Enthusiasts! We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well during these trying times. This month, we would like to introduce you to the new board of directors for Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy. The Board looks forward to meeting and working with all of you in our shared passion for reopening the hot springs for pubic access in the coming months and years.
https://mailchi.mp/d46b829eb3ce/meet-the-gilroy-hot-springs-board?e=[UNIQID]


reopen1June 7, 2020
While the SIP remains in effect, Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy is building a virtual organization. The work that we do now remotely and over the internet will form the foundation of all GHSC activities when the SIP is lifted. We have filed the articles of incorporation and will begin official board meetings in July. We are developing a volunteer program that will recruit, train and maintain volunteers from all over the country.
https://mailchi.mp/efaf633beba4/gilroy-hot-springs-summer-plans-during-sip?e=[UNIQID]


reopen1May 1, 2020
Gilroy Hot Springs is on track to re-open.

Greetings to all Gilroy Hot Springs enthusiasts! We have good news to share, which is Gilroy Hot Springs is on track to re-open! We have officially formed a new organization, Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy.
https://mailchi.mp/de130d2c4e00/gilroy-hot-springs-conservancy?e=[UNIQID]


In 1879, William James McDonald was born at Prosser Creek, California located close to where the creek flows into the Truckee River. His father James was involved in the ice harvesting industry from about 1865 until his death in 1899. The ice was used to refrigerate train cars hauling perishable produce, to supply San Francisco hotels and other establishments, and was shipped to Virginia City, Nevada to cool the silver mines.

Will had hotel experience as his father was the superintendent and stockholder of the Boca Mill and Ice Company and manager of the Boca Hotel that was located not far from Prosser Creek. At the same time, James managed the Prosser Creek ice houses. All accounts of him say that he was a much admired, hardworking, friendly man.

Will attended St. Mary’s College. At that time, the college had been moved from San Francisco to Oakland, California. In 1897, he received a Commercial Degree which was a 2-year course in business.

Will met his wife Emily Rixon through his father’s ice harvesting connection with her father. They married in 1901 and in 1904, they bought a share of the Gilroy Hot Springs from George Benjamin Roop whose father George William Roop started the GHS in 1866 .

Emily and Will had two sons. William Elmer, born 1903 and Edward (Ted) Alva, born 1904. The boys lived in San Francisco with Emily’s parents during their school years and spent summers and holidays at the “Springs”.

Emily was a tall, stately lady and was called “The Duchess” by many. Will was a jovial host to all who stayed there and “provided a great table” for his guests. He was not just the hotel’s proprietor, but a friend to many who came back year after year. His Boca/Truckee friends would make the trip down to spend time with him and enjoy the resort’s amenities. He had the most guests at one time numbering 500 and had to turn many away.

Many entertainments were provided for the pleasure of guests at the resort.

Besides soaking in the mineral water, guests could entertain themselves by hiking to the Flagpole to sign the register, playing cards and games such as Faro in the social hall, shuffleboard outside near the Lick House, swimming in the “Tank” that Will had installed in 1917, and horseback riding just to name a few. There was the hunting of deer and duck for the guests as there was plenty of game for the hunters’ pleasure. Coyote creek provided trout for the anglers’ sport. Rowboats and swimming were also available in Coyote Creek.

The Fourth of July was celebrated in a spectacular way. The Hotel was decorated with flags and the guests were provided with hats and small flags. Foot races and other entertainments were provided, including fireworks.

Will and his sister Elizabeth Maggard bought the rest of GHS from George B Roop in the early 20s. George, Maude, and daughter Florence lived in Los Angeles, but returned often to vacation at the resort. Their signatures are in the Flagpole register that was saved from all those years ago. The two men and their families were good friends.

Will was always making improvements during his tenure at GHS. He “supplemented an acetylene lighting system with a gasoline system, renovated the grounds, and both removed and replaced some of the older cottages, leaving a total of fifteen. (Pamphlet ca. 1913)” “Structures include one concrete cistern from about 1913, one redwood water tank from about 1913 and a concrete mineral pool with dressing rooms built in 1917.”

Besides stories and poems about GHS, Will left a wonderful collection of photographs, and he took most of the photos seen on GHS postcards. Some of you may have seen the one with Ted and Elmer dressed in Native American costumes and posed down at Coyote Creek. I’m sure that they considered themselves great warriors. Thinking that the teepee was authentic, I was surprised to find out that it was purchased at Sears & Roebuck in 1910. I imagine that their costumes were purchased there, also. The baskets were authentic and I assume that the kettle hanging over the fire pit was appropriated from the GHS kitchen. Many postcards of the scene were made, but not many were available for sale to guests and visitors. Emily’s mother disapproved of selling postcards with the boys’ picture as she thought that they were being exploited. Being the good son-in-law, Will pulled them off sale. As a result, our family has many.

In 1925, at the age of 46, Will died of a heart attack at GHS. Heart problems were prevalent in his McDonald family. Our dad, Ted had done pre-law at UC Berkeley, but couldn’t afford Boalt Hall so he got his degree at Hasting’s College of Law in San Francisco. After his father died and while he was attending law school, he managed the affairs of GHS and made many trips back and forth from San Francisco. He was a very responsible almost 21-year old at the time of his father’s death.

After Will died, Emily, Will’s sister Elizabeth, and her husband Harry Maggard tried to make a go of the resort. Gradually, people ceased to come and they had to default on their payment to George B Roop who foreclosed and took back the resort.

When Emily McDonald left GHS, George B Roop became the acting Postmaster in 1932 until 1934. When George B Roop’s daughter Florence came of age, she was unsuccessful in reviving the resort and in 1938, Kyuzaburo Sakata purchased the resort from her. I think that Emily must have had a friendship with Mr. Sakata, as we have brochures from Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs and a lovely Japanese watercolor signed T.B.Takata that I believe was given to her by Mr. Sakata.

Emily survived her husband by 34 years. She passed away in 1959 in San Francisco at the age of 80. She was known to my brother Bill and to me as “Donnie” because she didn’t want to be called “grandma”. We were her only grandchildren and she doted on us. She had a great sense of humor and was a lot of fun. Bill and I often lament the fact that we never knew our grandfather Will. In some way, we feel that we do know him because of the great record of photos, writings, and documents that were passed on to us.

With Emily at his side, William James McDonald gave his short life to making Gilroy Hot Springs a place where friends and guests could come to soak in the waters, eat well, partake of many entertainments, or to just relax in the resort’s bucolic surroundings.

Sue McDonald Lundblade – Granddaughter of Emily and William James McDonald

The following site offers an excellent and detailed timeline of GHS history and includes descriptions and locations of each cabin and other structures.

https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/dd9931d5-378e-44b8-8b32-5e318a369ce0

image1

Emily and sons – Ted sitting up on back of bench & Elmer seated

image3

Guests/Friends at Flagpole – Will and Emily seating on ground (far right)

image0 2

At Amusement Hall – guests playing Faro. Will McDonald standing (far left) He loved to set the stage for a fun photo

image2

Will McDonald hauling the firewood that he chopped.

image5

Construction of the “Tank” – McDonald sons, Elmer and Ted (seated)

image6

McDonalds (left to right) Ted , Will, Elmer

image0 7

4th of July – Back row, Emily McDonald (tall lady in the middle) Her sister Anne Rixon (far right striped dress) Seated in the middle on chairs unknown man and Will McDonald.(furthest right)
Front row – Seated from left to right – Elmer McDonald, Ted McDonald, unknown girl, Bob Armstrong (close family friend)

image8

GHS dining room set for the next meal. Looking closely, mounted deer heads can be seen hanging on the walls

GHS_Hotel_Family_MLFA

Scene in front of the Hotel – (Left to right) Tall man standing with his arms folded near doorway is Will’s brother George McDonald, In the group of 4 ladies on far right is Emily McDonald the tallest. Will McDonald with his arms folded is standing below her. Lady on horse is Will McDonald’s sister Liz McDonald.

image9

Roofing a new cabin up behind the Lick House – (Left to right) Elmer McDonald, Ted McDonald, unknown man.

ghsc-logo

We have had a busy month at Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy!

With covid restrictions loosening, renovations have resumed in preparation for our fall 2021 re-opening. Check out the photos below at a recent drone filming day with volunteer Lauren Cohn. Lauren is the the multimedia architect for Oracle and has been volunteering her time as a cinematographer, drone pilot and creative to help with the re-opening of the hot springs. We hope to show you her work soon!

https://mailchi.mp/069ba4b81f74/renovations-resume-zoom-session

ghsc-logo

Jan. 13, 2021
Can you share your favorite photographs?
Happy New Year to all! Do you have favorite pictures of your time spent at our beloved Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs? Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy is looking for photographs that we can use on social media to promote our fundraising activities for our 2021 re-opening plans. We currently have only a small library of shareable content, not enough to get our social media campaign going.
https://mailchi.mp/bd737b9af44c/share-your-favorite-pics-from-gilroy-hot-springs?e=[UNIQID]>a?

Nov. 20, 2020
It’s Giving Tuesday at Gilroy Hot Springs.
Did you know that Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy is sponsored by the Gilroy Foundation while we await approval of tax exempt status? Give the gift of community healing this season by donating to our 2021 Reopening Fundraiser. We accept private as well as corporate donations. Reply to this email with any questions you have or to obtain our tax id number for corporate matching donations.
https://mailchi.mp/dfb4f32e4415/giving-tuesday-at-gilroy-hot-springs?e=[UNIQID]

Flag pole

Nov. 4, 2020
Donate to soak and camp in 2021!
Dear Friends,

Gilroy Hot Springs Conservancy is now accepting donations. Some donations are eligible to reserve the very first soaking and camping spots when we re-open in 2021. We hope this good news gives you hope and something to look forward to in difficult times.
https://mailchi.mp/8a9629b654fc/gilroy-hot-springs-fundraiser-is-live?e=[UNIQID]

Nov. 2, 2020
The time has come to return to Gilroy Hot Springs.
Can you imagine meeting your friends to soak in the healing waters at Gilroy Hot Springs? How about enjoying a meal and nap at your campsite after a day of soaking? Or even better, enjoying the sunrise and sunset from the deck of your Texas Cabin room? All of this and more is about to be possible in 2021. And we need your help.
https://mailchi.mp/0501ac3f8d57/gilroy-hot-springs-survives-scu-complex-fire-836912?e=[UNIQID]