Hot Springs, Hauntings & Hospitality
Paso became a destination resort town in the 1800’s with hospitality so good that some folks refuse to leave even hundreds of years later.
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Paso Robles has been renowned for thermal springs water for hundreds of years. The Salinan Indians, the most historical inhabitants of the area, knew this area as “The Springs” and found relief from various ailments in the therapeutic waters. Our water is rich in sulfur compounds and trace minerals which assist healing in a variety of ways. Hydrogen sulfide gas (responsible for the aroma) is a powerful antibacterial agent, stimulating to the body’s mucus membranes, soothing to the respiratory system and calming to the skin. Heated in Earth’s fissures, our natural water emerges at 117 degrees, rich with healing, restorative minerals. www.riveroakshotsprings.com
The phone at the front desk of the Paso Robles Inn seems to receive mysterious calls from Room 1007 on a regular basis. At first, the inn's management wrote the calls off to a glitch in the phone system. Mike Childs, head of maintenance at the inn, even went to the room to inspect the phone line. While standing in the room, he witnessed the phone light up and call the front desk. When he tried calling the desk himself, the phone, which has two lines, cut him off and called the front desk on the second line. The spirit took matters into its own hands one night and placed a call to 911. When police arrived, they found the room unoccupied. The management attributes the call to a story in a 1940 newspaper article: On December 19, 1940, night clerk J.H. Emsley discovered a fire on the second floor of the hotel. Emsley rushed downstairs, sounded the alarm and then died of a heart attack on the spot. Thanks to Emsley's action, all of the hotel's guests were evacuated, but management thinks the ghostly clerk doesn't know that. (If hauntings aren’t your thing, stay in one of the un-haunted spa rooms and enjoy the hot mineral springs that made Paso Robles famous in the 1800’s.) www.pasoroblesinn.com
“If I lived near here, I'd soak every single day. It really is a fountain of youth. This is the first time I've been to a hot spring where the mineral silt collects at the bottom… I rubbed the silt all over. A "day spa" will never have the mineral silt. As soon as I got in, my skin felt smooth. The mineral content is very good. I've been to dozens of ones in Japan and none of them remotely had the therapeutic effect of this place.” [VIA Yelp] www.franklinhotsprings.com
In 1888 J. Campbell operated a saloon at 1236-1238 Pine Street, the original site of the Pine Street Saloon before the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake. For many years back then it served as a saloon, a billiard parlor and a card room. It was one of the oldest brick structures in Paso Robles. (From their website): "Old records give some indication that the first floor was used as a saloon, and the second floor a boarding house, and as story again tells... a bordello… Sometime in those early days it housed the Cosmopolitan Hotel and a saloon. In the 1890’s it was known as the Young Hotel. It was a popular hotel where delicious food was served at reasonable rates. In 1960 it became Estrada’s Bar. But, now and maybe forever, it is known as the Pine Street Saloon.” Rumor has it that the upstairs is haunted. www.pinestreetsaloon.com
Like the Tolle House, an 1898 Italianate structure and the only 2-story brick building in all of Paso Robles; the Call Booth House, a lovely Victorian; or Emily’s House, a 1892 American Heritage Farmhouse. All are within walking distance of the historic downtown with award-winning restaurants, tasting rooms, boutiques and art galleries. For more information on lodging, go to www.travelpaso.com.
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