16 September 2009

Carbon Canyon Historical Artifact #19

This is the earliest of the La Vida Mineral Springs items posted so far on this blog and is a real photo postcard, meaning someone took a photo and had it printed on a postcard, rather than a commercially-produced card.

The caption would have been written with white ink directly onto the negative and reads "La Vida / Hot Soda Spring / Cafe & Bath House."

The structure is three stories or two stories with a basement and there is a set of narrowing concrete steps leading from the walkway and bridge in the foreground to the front door. Supported by brackets affixed to the building's front wall is a second-floor balcony. Branches from what appear to be oak trees are on either side of the front of the structure, while behind the building a small portion of hillside can be detected and then a gap from the center off to the right. This might be the area where the surviving water tank is located toward the west end of the property.

The item, sent to Sterling, Colorado, has a message dated 25 September 1928 from "La Vida Hot Spring." It reads,

Dear Ray, This is the bath house where Eddie takes his daily dozen. He has one more treatment and then we will go home. Sure quiet here. Lots of quail, rabbit, etc. up here. We have a cabin. Will go home soon now. Love, Flo.

The postmark is from the next day, 26 September, in Placentia. The card dates from the time when, presumably, the resort was owned by William Newton Miller, founder of the business some four years before. In 1932, some references say, Archie Rosenbaum bought the property, which did receive some publicity at the time that has the hallmarks of a change in ownership.

How long this building stood is not known. A later postcard, from the 1930s or so (see the 30 October 2008 entry in this blog), shows a long, low building in the location described above, in front of the surviving water tank, and it doesn't appear to have any resemblance. Was the structure in this photo torn down and replaced with the one shown in the later image? Someone out there may know or future research may provide an answer.

Regardless, this photo is of significance, at least for this blog, because it represents the earliest view yet of La Vida, although it is so focused on the entry that its general location on the site can't be determined with great accuracy.

This card was purchased by me and donated to the Homestead Museum in the City of Industry, California.


Anonymous said...

Cool photo, I see the old water tower when I take the canyon home to Chino. I wish I could find an old bottle fom there Lemon Lime Soda days.

Paul said...

Hello Anonymous, thanks for stopping by. La Vida has probably been combed over pretty good by collectors during the years that it's been abandoned, so I'd be surprised if there was too much left in decent shape after all of that and the fires, too. Please check out the Chronicle again soon.