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Text courtesy Linda A. Reynolds publication, "Historical Evaluation of Jornan Hot Sprints Resort" - 1988
(unless otherwise noted)

See USE NOTICE on Home Page.

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jordan hot springs
Jordan Hot Springs Resort - 1971
(Photos courtesy of Greg Farris)

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Jordan Hot Springs area - 1978

(Photos courtesy of Donald Gudebus)
jordan hot springs
Jordan Hot Springs area - 1978

(Photos courtesy of Donald Gudebus)

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Jordan Hots Springs bath house - 1978

(Photos courtesy of Donald Gudebus)
 

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Casa Vieja Meadows on the way to Jordan Hot Springs - 1978

(Photos courtesy of Donald Gudebus)

cabins
Cabins at Jordan Hot Springs
(Photos courtesy of Inyo County Sesquicentennial)

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jordan hot springs
Jordan Hot Springs area
(Photos courtesy of Linda A. Reynolds' Historical Evaluation of Jordan Hot Springs Resort - 1988 report)


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Chronology of Events involving Jordan Hot Springs


Pre-euroamerican Contact:  A prehistoric archaeological site is located at Jordan Hot Springs.  Jordan Hot Springs is a traditional Native American religious and encampment area.

1857 – John Jordan and family come to Tulare County.

1860 – In March of Darwin French discover gold and silver in the Coso Range.

1861 – In May John Jordan begins blazing the trail.  Two routes blazed that spring and summer, splitting at the Kern River.  On the 7th of November John Jordan, et al., petition the Tulare County Board of Supervisors for a franchise to build a toll trail from Visalia to the Owens Valley.

1762 – A charter is granted to Jordan, et al., to build the trail.  A proviso is added that the trail will be widened into a road.

1762 – On the 22nd of May John Jordan drowns in the Kern River.

1863 – A subscription of $1,600 is raised to complete the trail.

1863 – Fifty-two troops of Company D are moved from Camp Independence to the recently established Fort Babbitt near Visalia in order to protect Union loyalists from Southern sympathizers.

1864 – The McFarland Toll Road Company completes the road over Greenhorn Mtn. and Walker Pass.  The famous Wheeler Expedition uses the Jordan trail.

1875 – The first building may have been erected at this time.

1890 – The first lodge, of split logs, is said to have been built at this time.

1893 – The Sierra Forest Reserve is established.  Sheep are expelled from the Forest Reserves.

Late 1800s – Backpacking and hiking in the remote country of the southern Sierra Nevada become popular.  The Jordan Trail is used by foot and horse traffic and by Sierra Club outings.  Upwards of twenty five to thirty tents are said to be set up at Jordan Hot Springs.

1900 – 1950 – The cow camp era.

1905 – Forest Reserves are transferred to Department of Agriculture and renamed National Forests.

1908 – The huge Sierra National Forest is divided into the Sierra, Sequoia, Inyo, Mono, and Stanislaus National Forests.

1915 – The United States Geological Survey Bulletin contains a reference to "an old log cabin and rude tables" at Jordan Hot Springs .

1916 – The Forest Service puts a telephone line into Jordan Hot Springs.

1918 or 1919 – Ethel Olivas attends a dance at Jordan Hot Springs.

1915 – 1923 – Second construction episode.

1920 – Hal Womack is the permittee.

1923 – Maurice Parker's first visit to Jordan Hot Springs.  The administration of Jordan Hot Springs switches from the Sequoia National Forest to the Inyo National Forest.  A Tract Map is compiled showing the location of the buildings.

1925 – Walter Dowell becomes the permittee. The sawmill and the pelton wheel are installed.

1926 – 1938 – Third construction episode.

1927 – Bill Carrassco first goes to Jordan Hot Springs.

1930s – Airfields are built at Tunnel, Templeton Meadow, and Monache Meadow.

1935 – alt Gregg is the permittee.

1938 – Lumber for the Olivas cabin is milled at Jordan.

1941 – Clarence Purnel, Elmo Purnel, and Tom Mader buy Jordan Hot Springs from a Mr. Simmons in the spring.  At this time, it is not in operation.

1941 – present: Fourth construction episode.

1964 – Purnel sells to Reginald Stocking; he and his wife continued to run it for two more years.  During most of Stocking's tenure it is not run as a commercial enterprise.

1972 – Burkhardt buys the lease.

1978 – Golden Trout Wilderness is established.

1984 – The Quinns take the permit over from Burkhardt.

1987 – The Parkers become the new permittees.

(Timeline courtesy of Linda A. Reynolds' Historical Evaluation of Jordan Hot Springs Resort - 1988 report)


The Jordan Toll Trail
by William F. (Bill) Jordan

Jordan Trail
(Copyright 1987 by Joe Turner)

This is how the story goes about the Jordan
Trail in the California mountains, started long ago.
In 1860, a man named John Jordan comes all
The way from Texas, Captain of a wagon train.

Searching for a toll trail, followed old Indian
Sayings.  Marooned across the river in 1861.

Stranded 'cross the river, with his two
Sons, made a raft to cross it, hit a rock and
John Jordan was done.

They say years later, skull of John Jordan
Was found.  Legend still proceeds him and
His-name still renowned.

This is the story told to me
By descendents of the
Jordan Family Tree.

(Poem courtesy of Linda A. Reynolds' Historical Evaluation of Jordan Hot Springs Resort - 1988 report)


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The Old John Jordan Trail and Jordan Hot Springs
by Linda A. Reynolds


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dude ranch
Jordan Hot Springs Dude Ranch
(Courtesy of Randy Toll)

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The History of John Jordan Hot Springs
by U.S. Forest Service

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Jordan Hot Springs mail cabin
(Photos courtesy of Greg Farris)
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Jordan Hot Springs sawmill
(Photos courtesy of Greg Farris)

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Old cabin at Jordan Hot Spring
(Photos courtesy of Greg Farris)

jordan hot springs cabin
Old cabin at Jordan Hot Springs
(Photos courtesy of Greg Farris)

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Jordan Hot Springs
(Photocard courtesy of Rich McCutchan)
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Jordan Hot Springs - the old lodge
(Photos courtesy of Greg Farris)

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Jordan Hot Springs kitchen
(Photos courtesy of Greg Farris)

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Jordan Hot Springs - the old store
(Photos courtesy of Greg Farris)


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jordan trail
The John Jordan Trail from Visalia, CA to Olancha, CA
The X dash (x - x) line indicates a trail that John Jordan blazed from Trout Meadow to Owens Lake in 1861
via Kern Lake, Golden Trout Creek, Cottonwood Pass and Cottonwood Creek.

(Map courtesy of Linda A. Reynolds' Historical Evaluation of Jordan Hot Springs Resort - 1988 report)

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trail to jordan hot springs
Trail going into Jordan Hot Springs kitchen
(Photos courtesy of Valerie Norton)
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Cabin along the trail to Jordan Hot Springs
(Photos courtesy of Valerie Norton)


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jordan hot springs tract
Jordan Hot Springs land survey tract
(Map courtesy of Linda A. Reynolds' Historical Evaluation of Jordan Hot Springs Resort - 1988 report)

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MOUNTAIN TRAILS
 
The first trail across the Sierra Nevada mountains within the limits of what now constitutes Tulare County was partially constructed in 1861 by John Jordan. It took its orgin in the Yokohl Valley, crossed the Blue Ridge, wound around by Peck's Canyon through Quinn's Horse Camp and following down Little Kern to Trout Meadows, thence up Big Kern to a point below where Kern Lakes now are, crossed the river and, proceeding eastward via Monache Meadows, was to strike the Owens River below the lake.

The pressing need of a shorter and quicker route for the host of prospectors eager to reach the new mines warranted the project. Mr. Jordan secured a charter to maintain it as a toll road and completed nearly all the work on this die of the Kern River in 1861. In 1862, while attempting the passage of the Kern River on a raft, he was drowned. There were four in the party, the others being his two sons, Allen and Tolbert, and a man named Gashweiler. Allen remained on shore; Gashweiler, as the raft became unmanageable in the swift current, jumped onto a rock. Tolbert grabbed a limb of a tree which lay on the water and swung himself to safety on its trunk. Mr. Jordan was tipped off, and although a powerful swimmer, was sucked under by the strong current and drowned, the body never being recovered.

In the following year the sum of $1,600 was raised by subscription in Visalia to complete the trail. G.W. Warner undertook the work and finished it, building a bridge across the Kern River. The magnitude of this latter undertaking will be better realized when it is understood that all chains, harness, stretchers and implements had to be packed from Visalia.

In 1863 J.B. Hockett built the trail which bears his name. This, commencing at Three Rivers, proceeded up the southfork of the Kaweah River, passing the Hockett Lakes and Meadows and joined the Jordan Trail, continuing on its route to Big Kern. Instead of crossing the river at the same point, however, it continued up the stream to a point near the lower Funston Meadows, whence crossing and ascending the wall of the Kern Canyon, it made its way via the Whitney Meadows to the crossing of Cottonwood Creek, near the lakes, and thence down to Independence. This trail, though altered to eliminate steep pitches and other difficult sections, is followed today, practically as laid out fifty years ago.

The trail from Eshom Valley through to Owens River by way of theKings River Canyon, was an old Indian trail, as in part the others were.

In July, 1867, Messrs. Thorne and Davenport established a saddle and pack trian over the Hockett Trail to Lone Pine and Independence.
In July, 1864, Messrs. Bellows, Lown and Badger, of Owens River, started a regular cargo train over the new trail from Visalia to the Owens River.
pack train on hockett trail
Pack train on Hocket Trail going to Lone Pine, California, Mt. Whitney quadrangle, 1905, picture by G.R. Davis, topographer.


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This page was last updated on 20 June 2020