Stockton’s Famous Mineral Baths

Vintage Postcard of the Stockton Mineral Baths (White Border Era, 1915-1930)

Vintage Postcard of the Stockton Mineral Baths (White Border Era, 1915-1930)

The Hotel Stockton was formerly occupied by the Weber Baths, the first mineral baths in Stockton. Built in 1883, the Weber Baths boasted a substantial sized swimming tank with more than forty dressing rooms.  Stockton’s abundance of natural gas wells allowed for a steady and continuous flow of warm water into the baths. The gas actually pushed up the mineral water which contained iron, sulphur, magnesium, soda and salt and was deemed therapeutic.

Stockton’s most famous mineral baths were the Jackson Baths built in 1893 at the present location of McKinley Park. Three wells supplied water to one large pool and several smaller pools which were surrounded by swings, a trapeze, slides, springboards and 150 dressing rooms. The facility included twelve bath houses for private parties, a clubhouse for entertaining and a grand stand for musical concerts. The thirteen acre resort destination also featured lawn areas with picnic tables and barbecue pits, and even a small zoo and a scenic railway.

Renamed the Stockton Mineral Baths after substantial renovations in 1920, the expanded pool became the largest swimming tank in the world with a central circular pool with two wings.  Renowned architect Glenn Allen designed the four-story lighthouse tower with a statuary and fountain at its base, two Venetian bridges at either side of the circular pool and several slides and waterfalls.  Private pavilions, wading pools and sandy beaches made all this Stockton’s most popular attraction of the time. Unfortunately, these wells dissipated by the 1940s, but memories of them live on in vintage postcards and photos.

This particular article of mine was first published by the Downtown Stockton Alliance in June 2011.



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