Willow Springs, CA

Willow Springs, CA - Old gas pump at station house

Willow Springs, CA – Old gas pump at station house


Willow Springs has been a known watering hole since the mid-1770s, first documented by Padre Graces and the Spanish in 1776. In the 1850, the Jayhawker Party, fresh out of Death Valley located the precious water of Willow Springs. In the 1860s, it was a stagecoach stop for those headed to Havilah, and freight wagons on their way Cerro Gordo.

In 1900, Ezra Hamilton purchased the former stage stop and the 160 acres surrounding it to ensure that his gold mine (Tropico) would have sufficient water supply. At the same time he dreamed up the idea of Willow Springs as resort for people suffering from lung disease. In 1904 the twenty-seven building resort opened, and included houses, a general store, garage, generating plant, hotel, ice-house, school, public hall, dance hall, bathhouse, and a swimming pool.

Ezra Hamilton died in 1914, however the resort remained open for a number years under Ezra’s son. The post office closed in 1918, and the school became part of the Rosamond School District in 1927.

Today several buildings remain standing at Willow Springs, most are currently inhabited, and signed no trespassing.

Willow Springs, CA - Saloon

Willow Springs, CA – Saloon


Willow Springs, CA - Crumbling Building

Willow Springs, CA – Crumbling Building




About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.