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As It Was: Edson Brothers Expand the Klamath Hot Springs

Brothers Joe and Lile Edson saw an opportunity to expand the business when they purchased the old Beswick Hotel in 1887.

They built an elaborate lodge of lava rock and added to the resort’s exotic appearance by planting shade trees and lush lawns. They piled lava-rock for fencing and placed cement pillars at the entrances.

The lodge had 75 guest rooms, a large dining room and a kitchen, an ice house and other rooms, including a separate dining area for the hired help. To provide food for the guests, the Edsons grew a large garden tended to by a Chinese gardener. The Edsons also raised cattle and fine horses.

The hot springs were located on the east bank of the Klamath River, 40 miles south of Klamath Falls and 40 miles northeast of Yreka. A bathhouse over the springs had six mud baths, a steam bath, and a barbershop. Hot-springs water filled a large swimming pool.

A masseur and attendants served summertime patrons, including President Herbert Hoover, novelist Zane Grey, pilot Amelia Earhart, and many movie celebrities. The hotel burned in 1915 and the property sold in 1921.

Source: Hessig, Alice. "The History of Klamath Hot Springs." Siskiyou Pioneer, The 3.8 (1965): 63-69. Print.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.