19 August 2012

Even More Early La Vida Mineral Springs History

As detailed here previously, the La Vida Mineral Springs resort went through several ownerships in its early pre-1940 years.  As always, new findings come to light to add to the story, so here are a couple of items that have emerged lately.

Phil Brigandi, a native of Orange who is a preeminent authority on Orange County history and much else, passed along a reference that the Fullerton Tribune newspaper of 28 September 1905 had an article noting that the sulphur springs were being used by workers from nearby oil fields at Olinda, which were only several years in operation, who sought the hot mineral water to relieve aching muscles after hard work on the pump.  Notably, it was suggested that the springs be "cleaned out" and that a bath house be installed, so, clearly, these oil workers were going directly to the source and not enjoying anywhere near a resort experience!

Within a few years that would change and Phil located another article from the Fullerton News from 2 August 1917 that indicated that a resort was in the process of construction in the sulphur springs above Olinda in Carbon Canyon.  The name La Vida was not mentioned in the article, though earlier references to that moniker have been located.

By 1924, there was an incorporation of the La Vida Mineral Springs, attributed to William Newton Miller, who was an oil worker living in Anaheim during those years, and, from there, the springs became a larger endeavor.

A newly located article from the Los Angeles Times, dated 1 August 1926 had this to say about the attributed health benefits from the waters:

According to Fred Cline, manager of the La Vida Mineral Springs situated in Carbon Canyon thirty miles from this city and three miles from Olinda, La Vida Mineral Springs offers the only natural hot soda baths in the world.

The baths are said by Mr. Cline to be unusually beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism, muscular aches, pains, stomach, kidney or skin troubles.

La Vida Springs, which is open the year round, is a combination health and pleasure resort and comprises a hotel, cafe, housekeeping accomodations, a large store, a large dance hall, numerous camp sites, and picnic tables and afford abundant shade.

The springs are within easy access of Los Angeles, reached after an enjoyable ride through La Habra and Brea, thence through Carbon Canyon to the resort.

Then, there was a new phase of development at La Vida, which was the use of the mineral water for bottling and distribution as a healthful soda water.  Several examples ofd La Vida mineral water bottles have been shown on this blog and an upcoming post will give some of the early history of the La Vida Mineral Water Company.

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