Utah History to Go
Castilla Hot Springs Attracted Trainloads of Visitors
Change and Creativity
Struggle for Statehood
Struggle for Statehood Chronology
In 1895 Utahns Wondered When Statehood Would Come
A State is Born
Party Politics and Utah Statehood
The Constitutional Convention is Called
Constitution Was Framed in City and County Building
African American Community and Politics, 1890-1910
The Broad Ax and the Plain Dealer Kept Utah's African Americans Informed
Clarence E. Allen Was Utah's First Congressman
How Utah Lost One of Its U.S. Senate Seats in 1899
Salt Lake Native Was Interred in the Kremlin Wall
The Shooting of Arthur Brown, Ex-Senator From Utah
Convict Labor Helped to Build Utah's Road
Strawberry Valley, 1st Federal Reclamation Project
Women's Suffrage in Utah
Woman Suffrage Dominated Politics in Utah
Kanab Residents Chose Women to Run Their Town, 1912
Ruth May Fox, Forgotten Suffragist
Soren Hanson's "House That Eggs Built"
Utah Arts Council
Utah State Historical Society
The Beginning of Public Support For Libraries
The Pasta King of the Mountain West
Celebrating the New Year in Salt Lake's Chinatown
Electrifying Utah-Engineer Lucien L. Nunn
A Brewer-Sportsman's Prairie Style Home in Ogden
Saltair Village Was a Unique Place to Live
Boxing Fans Take the Plunge at Saltair
Castilla Hot Springs Attracted Many Visitors
Minstrel Shows
Utah State Capitol
Utah in the Spanish American War
Captain Richard W. Young and Spanish-American War
A Soldier's Life at Fort Douglas in the Early 1900's
Methodist Women Missionaries Worked Hard in Utah
Flour Mills
Guano Sifters on Gunnison Island
The Lehi Beet Sugar Factory
The Salt Industry Was One of the First Enterprises
From Free Salt to a Major Industry
Hospitals and Health Crazes in the Late 1800's
The Myths and Legends of Butch Cassidy
Butch Cassidy
Would the New State of Utah Go Metric?
A Look at Working Women in the Early 20th Century
Jobs in 1900
Explosion of Pleasant Valley Coal Company
The Lucin Cutoff
Southern Utah's First High School
Life Was Precarious in Turn-of-the-Century Utah
Salt Lake City Had Its Typhoid Mary
Vaccinations in Wasatch County
Promoting Physical Fitness
Woman's Home Association Tried to Help the "Fallen"
Juvenile Delinquency Posed Problems For Utahns
Traveling Gypsies Brought an Exotic Lifestyle to Utah
The First Large Factory in Utah
The Rise and Fall of Ogden's Packing Industry
Newsboys Claimed Their Street Corners in Downtown
The Bamberger Electric Railway
The First Cars in Two Small Towns
A Bicyclist Challenges the Great Salt Lake Desert
Daredevils of the Sky-Early Aeronauts in Utah
Ogden Defeats Salt Lake City in a War of the Wheels
Utah's Immigrants at the Turn of the Century
Boys' Potato Growing Clubs
Joe Hill and the I.W.W.
Socialist Women and Joe Hill
A Bit of Polynesia Remains
Justice Zane and Antipolygamy
The Salt Lake Valley Smelter War

Linda Thatcher
History Blazer, October 1995

The Utah landscape is dotted with hot springs resorts that have come and gone. Although a few remain, most are merely memories to aging Utahns. One such popular resort during the 1890s and early 1900s was Castilla Hot Springs in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah County. The name Castilla was suggested either by the castlelike rock formations nearby or because the Spanish priest-explorers Escalante and Dominguez discovered the springs in September 1776 as they followed the Spanish Fork River down the canyon. They called it Rio de Aguas Calientes ("River of Hot Waters") because of the hot springs flowing into the river.

In 1889, more than 100 years later, William Fuller filed for a patent on the hot springs property with the U.S. government. On the land he built a small house which contained a wooden tub for bathing in the mineral water. Later, the Southworth family became interested in the property. Mrs. Southworth, the family matriarch, felt that her health had been improved by bathing in water from the springs. She urged her two sons, Sid and Walter, to buy the springs to "make a resort for people who have hopeless afflictions, that they may come and be cured." The Southworths obtained the land from Fuller and began to improve it. They filled the swampy area with gravel and built a three-story, red sandstone hotel. Other structures included indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a store, a dance pavilion, private bathhouses, several private cottages, and a saloon. Picnic areas, a baseball diamond, and stables were also provided.

During the summer months the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad ran excursion trains to Castilla. One of the most popular runs was the "moonlight excursion" from the Tintic Mining District in Juab County to Castilla. The train stopped at stations along the way to pick up passengers for an evening of dining and dancing.

Besides providing recreation for many Utahns, the resort area was the site of several enterprises, including a cigar factory and a quarry that furnished silica used as flux by the Columbia Steel Company in Ironton, Utah. Nevertheless, the warm, sulfuric water remained the principal attraction at Castilla. Bathers came from far and near for the relief they believed they would find for such illnesses as rheumatism and arthritis. The springs' water also became popular as a "cure" for other ailments such as alcoholism, chain-smoking, moral dissipation, and the "tendency to use profane language."

In 1912 Sid Southworth died. Noted sculptor Cyrus Dallin, a native of Springville, helped his sister Daisy (Sid's widow) financially with the resort. Eventually, he gained controlling interest in Castilla, but he had to rely on relatives to run it as he lived in Boston. The resort enjoyed a brief renewal of popularity in the 1920s, but by the 1930s it had fallen into disuse.  Lack of funds and competition from other resorts contributed to its downfall.

In the 1940s a fire destroyed most of the hotel. What remained was eventually torn down. Today only a few ponds created by the springs mark the spot where the once-thriving resort stood.

See Linda Thatcher, "Castilla Hot Springs," Beehive History 7 (1981).


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