Featured Byron Hot Springs Hotel Token - California Resort and World War II POW Camp

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by willieboyd2, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class User

    This token has been on my wish list since August 30, 2013 when I visited the ruins of the Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Resort.

    I finally got one.

    [​IMG]
    Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Sanitarium Token
    Brass, 21mm, 4.57gm
    Obverse: BYRON HOT SPRINGS / HOTEL AND SANITARIUM / CAL
    Reverse: GOOD FOR / 12½ CENTS / IN TRADE AT BUFFET

    The token dates from the period 1901 to 1912 when the hotel operated as a health resort and sanitarium.

    Byron Hot Springs and the town of Byron are located in California's Central Valley, near the cities of Stockton and Sacramento.

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    Byron Hot Springs Hotel entrance in 2013

    The sulfur springs originally attracted Indians and then settlers.

    The first hotel ran from 1889 to 1901, the second as the Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Sanitarium ran from 1901 to 1912, and the third as the Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Resort ran from 1913 to 1938.

    In 1913 a four-story brick hotel was opened as the Byron Hot Springs Hotel and Resort. It operated as a vacation spot for the rich and famous. Various celebrities stayed there including comedian Fatty Arbuckle and actor Clark Gable. The San Francisco Seals baseball team of the Pacific Coast League used the resort for spring training a few times. This hotel closed in 1938.

    In 1942 the United States War Department took over the buildings for use as a World War II prisoner of war (POW) interrogation center named Camp Tracy after another nearby town. The first prisoners were German and later most were Japanese soldiers and sailors who surrendered or were captured.

    The camp officials decided not to use Gestapo methods (torture) to get information, figuring that they would get more and accurate information by humane methods which were usually successful.

    When the war ended in 1945 the POW camp closed and the place was given back to the owner.

    It was then sold to the Greek Orthodox Church to be used as a retreat and after 1956 the property changed owners several times.

    The springs are no more as the Army capped them in 1945.

    In 2005 a grass fire ignited the main building which burned leaving the brick frame.

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    Byron Hot Springs Hotel ruins in 2013

    Occultists and paranormalists believe the place to be haunted and various "ghostbusters" have examined the area.

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    Byron Hot Springs Hotel interior

    "Who ya gonna call?"

    :)
     
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  3. Mike Drop

    Mike Drop Active Member

  4. chascat

    chascat Well-Known Member

    Looks to be haunted by street gangs.
     
    RayeZorSharp likes this.
  5. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Cool stuff! Great write up!
    What area of Cali is it?
     
  6. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Nice token and write-up.
    I do not have a token. When we went to Hot Spring for my niece's wedding, we gave her a silver sixpence (for her shoe).
    DSCN1047.JPG

    We enjoyed the trip. We saw the famous bath tub races -
    image (21).jpeg

    saw a motel that looked like a beaver dam
    image (15).jpeg

    had breakfast at a waffle shop featured in Southern Living
    image (12).jpeg

    it was a fun trip
     
  7. dwhiz

    dwhiz Collector Supporter

    Thanks I enjoyed your post.
     
  8. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Awesome to see a token make the Featured Thread!

    Why did you visit the site? Was it random? Also, how did you know they issued tokens?
     
    Roman Collector likes this.
  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Odd Supporter

    Congrats on a nifty token and writeup and another deserved "Featured" thread, WB2! You're a natural storyteller.
     
  10. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Well-Known Member

    Enjoyed the history very much. Great looking token. Thank you.
     
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