20 August 2008

Carbon Canyon Historical Artifact #4

We're on a roll with the La Vida Mineral Springs stuff, which is not surprising because it was the one main attraction in the canyon over the decades.

Above is a great ca. 1920s or 1930s photograph printed onto postcard paper. It is almost certainly an individual photo and not a published postcard because it doesn't have publishing information and because it was common then for the photographer to inscribe the negative with the white-colored writing you see at the bottom. In this case, the caption reads "La Vida Mineral Springs Calif." At the far right is the number "9," which would obviously indicate a series.

Compared to later photographs with a two-story motel, restaurant and more amenities, this view shows the rustic nature of the site which would most likely correspond with an earlier date. Another hint for date is the type of stamp box (no kidding) on the reverse. As I've written in an earlier post, William Newton Miller and a son-in-law, according to a Orange County history timeline found online, opened the resort in 1924. It would not surprise me if this image came not long afterward.

On the right, just behind the end of the footbridge, likely crossing Carbon Creek, is a screened structure, most likley for enjoying the hot springs. There is another screened area to the left and a wooden building over on the left behind the oak tree. A couple of round tables and chairs )(some wood and some iron) are in the shade of the tree. Through the trees you can see the steep hillside. Interestingly, there is at least one sign with some visible lettering over against the building at the far left, but what the sign said can' t be made out.

All in all, this is great early shot of La Vida, with good exposure, crisp and clear, without fading. I suppose it is possible that the owners had these photos taken in a series, had a bunch of them printed onto postcard paper, and sold them to visitors.

Look for more historical artifacts from the canyon soon. This is item 2008.4.1.1 from the Carbon Canyon Collection.

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