Gilroy Hot Springs History


THE GILROY HOT MINERAL SPRINGS- About twelve miles form the depot of the southern Pacific Railroad, at Gilroy, in a small rocky ravine, in the Coyote Canon, near the headwaters of that creek, where the mountains, timber-clad to their summits, rise several hundred feet on both sides of that stream , Francisco Cantua, a Mexican shepherd, while hunting for some of his stray flock,  in 1865, discovered what are not these famous springs.  He lost no time in filing a squatter's claim to the premises, and for some years used it as a  camping-ground for himself and friends.  It is not probable that the Indians were aware of their existence, for no remains have been found, besides, the hills were much infested with wild beasts, a fact which may account for their lack of knowledge on the subject. Cantua sold his interest a short time after to Geo. Roop, who at once commenced the grading of a road to the springs, the erection of houses, and the general clearing and adnornment of the locality.  He then took in to partnership Charles H. Twombly, Cashier of the First National Gold Bank in Oakland, Alameda county, who, in 1872, sold his share to John A. Cottle, and the proprietors became Roop & Cottle, the latter gentleman taking charge , and commencing a series of much needed improvements.  In 1874 a building, containing three dining rooms, capable of accommodating two hundred guests, with sitting room besides, and on the upper floor sleeping g apartments, was erected a ta cost of twelve thousand dollars.  In addition to this palatial structure there are eighteen cottages for families, and buildings continuing bedrooms alone, the whole being capable of housing two hundred and forty visitors.

Situated about one hundred years from the hotel, in a well-protected spot, and covered with a shapely kiosk, is the hot spring, represented as possessing such remarkable medicinal qualities.  It discharges continuously about three inches of water, of a nearly uniform temperature of one hundred and eighteen degrees, Fahrenheit, and contains in solution sulphur, iron, soda, magnesia, baryta, arsenic (in small quantities), and alum (in small quantities)  It is pungent, but by no means unpleasant ot the taste.  The bathing accommodation is commodious and well arranged, there being two separate plunge-baths for ladies and gentlemen, and a dozen tub-baths in neat and clean apartments.  Within fifteen feet of the hot spring there are a dozen or more large springs of pure cold water, while nearly three-fourths of a mile from the hotel is a romantically situated garden where anything and everything will flourish, from an orange to a turnip.  The place is supplied with all modern improvements:  there is telegraph communication with the outside world; on March 28, 1873, a post office was established, which is still in operation, and there is a state communication with Gilroy twice a day.

The situation of the Gilroy Hot Springs is twelve hundred feet about the sea level, in he very heart of the mountains, amidst groves of pine an oak, which are filled with game of all kinds; nearby, the Coyote affords a harvest of trout to the disciples of Izaak Walton to this add the delightful climate, picturesque walks, the opportunities for thrilling adventure, and the curative qualities of the water, and no more charming resort for the pleasure-seeker, or the invalid, is to be found on the Pacific coast.  The present proprietors are Cottle & Arrick, who are ably assisted by the ever popular Pete Wilmarth.

History of Santa Clara County, California
San Francisco: Alley, Bowen & Co., 1881, 878 pgs. Page 41-43
transcribed by cdf