Hot Lake Springs History

Hot Lake Springs Early Circa Photos      Hot Lake Springs Early Circa Photos

Pre-1812: Native American tribes use the hot springs as a place to nurse their injured or sick and to rest on neutral ground. Hot Lake is called Ea-Kesh-Pa by the Nez Perce.

August 7th, 1812: Robert Stuart of the Wilson Price Hunt party discovers the hot spring.

1840s: Hot Lake is a resting place for families traveling along the Oregon Trail.

1864: Newhard builds the first wooden structure. The original hotel faces the bluff rather than the lake. This "Town Under One Roof" hosts a blacksmith's shop, post office, dance hall, barber shop, drug store, and bath houses.

1884: The Union Pacific railroad, linking Oregon with the transcontinental system is completed. It bisects the Hot Lake property and puts Hot Lake on the map. Mail comes daily. The population of Hot Lake is 15.

Early 1900s: Hot Lake continues to grow. Dr. Phy becomes director of the facility in 1904.

1906: Construction of the brick structure begins.

1908: The brick building is completed. Construction of the 105-room building cost $500,000.

1910: Room rates range from $2.50 per day to $3.50 per week. Meals start at 25 cents. The listed earnings during this year were $178,811.

The first floor of Hot Lake is made up of offices, lobby, kitchen, dining hall and parlor. The second floor contains the guest rooms. The third floor is the hospital, complete with patient rooms and the surgery room. The official name becomes "Hot Lake Sanatorium." Under Dr. Phy the third floor becomes known as "The Mayo Clinic of the West."

1924-1932: People flock to the resort/hospital from all over the world. The hotel averages 124 new guests daily. The combined buildings have over 300 rooms and dining facilities for over 1,000 guests.

1934: A Sunday fire destroys the wooden structure of the building; the town under one roof looses half its size. After the fire and the Great Depression, business was never the same.
The property changes hands several times over the next 70 years. Even with multiple grants and government support, no one is able to return Hot Lake to its former grandeur.

1939: During World War II, a pilot's school and nurses training center are established at Hot Lake.

1953: Hot Lake is licensed to give nursing care on the third floor.

1975: The nursing home closes and a restaurant and country western nightclub open.

1977: The restaurant and nightclub close due to slow business.

1983: Dr. Lyle Griffith starts the Hot Lake Company.

1989: An RV park is built with the help of a $100,000 grant.

1991: Dr. Griffith closes the bath/massage business.

1994: Seattle based B.B.R. Corporation buys Hot Lake.

1996: Hot Lake changes hands again, this time in a Sheriff's auction.

2000: The private investor forecloses on the property and places it up for sale.

2003: The Manuel Family purchases Hot Lake. The long restoration process begins.

2005: The Hot Lake Springs Gallery and Foundry opens for visitors. Tours are given of the restoration in progress.

2010: Hot Lake Springs welcomes its first overnight guests.

2011-2014: Hot Lake Springs opens for full operations, proclaiming "business as usual"

2015 - 2019 Hot Lake Springs prepares for new experiences:

Hot Lake Springs Hotel     Hot Lake Springs Hotel