30 September 2013

Carbon Canyon Historical Artifact #38: La Vida Mineral Springs Pools, 1960s

This is a similar view of the large heated mineral water pool, with a flowing fountain at the center, and a smaller pool in the background at La Vida Mineral Springs, taken sometime in the 1960s, to one that was previously posted here.

The location is a graded and elevated piece of the resort above where the historic bath house, hotel and restaurant had been.  Newspaper references in the late 1950s mention a new pool constructed and this quite likely was it or at least to one of these.

Note the varied color umbrellas, the bright yellow lawn chairs, the wide cement walks around the pool and the lawns at the edge of the site.  Also of interest are the chaparral-covered hills to the south and east across Carbon Canyon Road.  A few small structures, one certainly containing pumps, filters and related equipment, are also partially in view.

On the reverse of the postally-unused card, printed by Amescolor Publishers of Escondido, is the brief caption, "Hot mineral water pools at / LA VIDA MINERAL SPRINGS / CARBON CANYON / BREA, CALIFORNIA."

As has been mentioned here many times with respect to views of La Vida from the 1920s onward, it is really hard to look at the ravaged landscape there today and imagine anything like this having existed there in the not-too-distant past.  It only goes to show how quickly decay sets in when properties are abandoned or razed and left, more or less, to the elements.

There was a time, though, when the La Vida Mineral Springs resort was, for several decades, a thriving operation catering to clientele interested in an experience redolent of the great European mineral bath resorts.  Today, the property is strewn with weeds, partially enclosed by a decaying chain-link fence, and containing fragments of some of the hardscape (like sidewalk and bridge support remnants), some of the few remaining trees, and a water tank that still bears the resort's logo.  Long owned by a Japanese businessman, who once talked of reestablishing a mineral springs resort there, the La Vida property appears to have no immediately-viable future, which is a shame given that there is so much history there.


Unknown said...

It was awesome swimming there as a kid!

janet vallance said...

My mom (Shirley Cloud Looper) was the life guard there from 1976- 1980. What a great place to grow up. I have lots of pictures, she was a photographer.

prs said...

Hi Janet, many thanks for the comment about your mom working at La Vida as a lifeguard. If you would like to share photos, please leave another comment here.