Situated on the Old Siskiyou Highway, wayfarers traveling between Salem and Sacramento by horseback, stagecoach, buggy, and automobile stopped at what is now WellSprings to “partake of the waters.” The property borders the original railroad that was constructed during the gold rush by Chinese workers in the 1870’s. Campers and enthusiasts exited the train for a weekend of music and dancing conducted in a large pavilion to the east of the swimming pool. Since WellSprings became a campground in the 1920’s, thousands of campers visit annually to partake of the waters and, more recently, take in a Shakespeare play, a rafting excursion, or a fishing trip down the Rogue River.
For centuries Native Americans honored the warm springs on the banks of Bear Creek as a sacred ceremonial site. Out of respect for the sanctity of the land and water spirits, First Nation elders tell us that warring nations put down their weapons in the vicinity of the hot springs. Moreover, the warm springs were revered by a number of Pacific Northwest tribes as a birthing sanctuary. Indigenous populations traveled hundreds of miles to birth in the springs, a custom that was later adopted by early settlers.
Applying for water rights in 1862, Eugenia Jackson dedicated the artesian waters to “sanitarium and natatorium purposes.” WellSprings is dedicated to fulfilling Eugenia Jackson’s dream of making these healing waters available to the public for rejuvenation and health restoration.
WellSprings’ naturally warm, spring-fed pools provide year ’round family swimming and soaking. A spacious warm water soaking pool is situated next to the Olympic sized swimming pool. Eighty thousand gallons of fresh water pour daily into the flow-through pools, obviating the need for chlorine. The alkaline nature of the water with a pH of 9.3 discourages bacterial growth, again, obviating the requirement for chemical additives. A steam room and sauna complete the package to insure a relaxing and rejuvenating spa experience. Private soaking tubs are also available.
In an effort to keep up with the ever increasing demand for and appreciation of the unique and healing qualities of WellSprings water, management is in the process of submitting a Type III application to Jackson County Development Services for the construction of three additional pools and a cold plunge, situated in a garden-like setting.