Located at the edge of Henry Coe State Park, Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs has a long and interesting history. Located on the appropriately named “Gilroy Hot Springs Road”, visitors to the Coyote Creek entrance notice the green bridge, with the gate on the other side.
I won’t repeat all of the historical background. You can find that on the plaque above, and Wikipedia also does a good job. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilroy_Yamato_Hot_Springs
What you may not know, is that there is an understaffed and underappreciated “Friends of Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs” that looks after these buildings and is slowly working to improve the area. http://gilroyhotsprings.net/
I’ve been to GYHS a few times, most recently in December 2017. On that day, Laura Dominguez-Yon held Docent training and a prearranged guided tour (which can be arranged via the website above). What I found while there, and from the most recent Pine Ridge Association newsletter, is that they need more helpers! (page 15: http://coepark.net/pineridgeassociation/documents/Fall_2017.pdf ) I found that I was the only one to express interest in helping at GYHS following that article!
If you’re interested in the history of GYHS, then by all means contact Laura, as mentioned in the PRA Newsletter above. They are looking for helpers for the Volunteer Work Days, as well as those interested in becoming a Uniformed State Park Volunteer and GYHS Docent.
Below: The Kitaji Cabin, where the Kitaji Bible, now preserved at Stanford, was written https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/21/how-bay-area-family-reclaimed-its-85000-bibles/
A temple, or shrine, on the upper part of the grounds:
One of the many cabins:
A news clipping, when this was a popular place to visit
The main bath house building is on the right, and the spring on the left (or where the spring water is piped to, from uphill)
This little bridge, which has completely fallen now, was part of the 1939 World’s Fair exhibit.
One of several bilingual signs, in the main bath house (changing rooms and restrooms)
Where the water arrives from uphill:
The back of the main bath house, with the former soaking pool at the bottom:
The former “Tea House” deck, which has now fallen and crumbled, due to erosion of the hillside.
Lower view of the Tea House, where it has now fallen:
That’s the quick introduction! It is my hope that this area will one day receive a big infusion of restoration money and be professionally staffed for daily public access. The history is that important, in my opinion.
There are a few analogies: The Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park is a similarly remote State Park, which was a place of importance for African-Americans, and was crumbling and ignored for a long time. Isn’t GYHS a similar situation? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_Allensworth_State_Historic_Park and http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=583
Secondly, Manzanar was underappreciated for many years, as well. It’s now a very well-done, and frequently visited place. (Don’t miss the movie in the Visitor’s Center! https://www.nps.gov/manz/index.htm ). GYHS is not of the same magnitude as Manzanar, but as a local/regional site, it doesn’t deserve to decay any further.
If you’d like to arrange a scheduled tour of Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, or offer help to Laura as a Uniformed State Park Volunteer or Volunteer Work Days, contact her through the website http://gilroyhotsprings.net/ or at info@GilroyYamatoHotSprings.org
Note that GYHS is only open by special arrangement. There are fences, cameras, and a resident caretaker to reduce vandalism and protect the area. Soaking in the water is not available.