WEBB W. WILCOX
WHEELER C. BLUMBERG
Coming to California from Illinois,
Webb W. Wilcox has devoted the best efforts of his life to the management and
control of Wheelers Hot Springs, one of the leading health resorts of the
state. These famous springs were named
for the late Wheeler C. Blumberg, who acquired direct from the government the
land in Wheeler Springs Canyon
where the springs are located.
Wheelers Hot Springs are situated in the Ventura Mountains,
north of Ojai, and a short distance south of Wheelers Cold Springs, which are
on the headwaters of the Sespe
River. Conditions are admirable, with clear mountain
air and rugged scenery, while the waters that rush between the canyon walls are
alive with trout. The Wheelers Springs
Company has furnished all the comforts and facilities required for the thorough
enjoyment of these natural resources.
The Hot Springs are about ninety miles
from Los Angeles
over the new state highway, and the automobile road leads directly to
them. The Cold Springs, nine miles
distant, are accessible only by trail, and that is an advantage, since this
locality somewhat isolated, is not over-crowded and affords opportunity for
real open air recreation and fishing.
The Hot Springs
are about fifteen hundred feet above sea level, while the trail rises toward
the Cold Springs, which are nearly thirty-five hundred feet above the sea. As a result of the enterprises of the late
Mr. Blumberg and his associates, splendid hotel facilities have been provided
at the Hot Springs,
dancing pavilions, facilities for outdoor and indoor games and sports, while
the waters from the hot mineral wells have been diverted into a large swimming
tank. More and more every season this is
becoming one of the most favored resorts for those who desire to get back to
nature in its most rugged and picturesque form.
The Wheelers Hot Springs are also a health resort of importance. The waters have qualities which have proved
very effectual in the treatment and cure of many diseases, especially those
connected with the stomach and digestive tracts.
following is an excerpt form an attractive folder describing Wheelers Hot
Springs: “Nature’s playground-two magic
words that speak volumes to the prospective vacationist-those in search of
health, rest and recreation-and if volumes were written they would not convey
more clearly the beckoning call of the great outdoors. Nature was rather lavish when she was
distributing her favors about the olden west, but she seemed especially so when
she came to Ventura
County, in which Wheeler
Springs is located. Enticingly nestled
high in the green-covered Ventura Mountains, only nineteen miles from the Pacific Ocean, Wheelers is favored in the summer months
with the ocean breezes, and the absence of the other extremes in the winter
months is evidenced by the fact that the orange trees throughout the grounds
never freeze. Situated on the banks of
the north fork of the Ventura river, a cold, clear mountain trout stream, the
grounds covered with hundreds of beautiful shade trees of every description,
Wheelers is a veritable natural mountain park, and with the many interesting
foot and saddle paths leading deeper in to the surrounding mountains, it has a
lure that calls the people back year after year. One of the most gratifying things to the
management is its large list of ‘repeaters,’ a most valuable asset of any business. The wonderful natural setting of the resort
and the exceptional climatic conditions are reason enough for the maintenance
of a highly satisfactory vacation spot, but the fact that Wheelers also has in
addition many large and wonderful springs of medicinally hot and cold mineral
waters, gives it a combination of natural advantage that is unexcelled and
offers unusual healthful
recreation. The open-air plunge
is filled with a constantly flowing stream of naturally warm water and the tub
baths are hot. What could be more
satisfying and refreshing than these after a hike or a saddle trip or some
exhilarating outdoor sport? It makes you
feel like new, for the waters are quieting and healing and give you back that
vitality lost in the usual rush of our daily life and will send you back to
your work full of pep.
that want to ‘just play,’ Wheelers has worlds to offer. The playgrounds for the kiddies, the burros,
the saddle horses, trout fishing, three streams, swimming, hunting, tennis, quoits,
billiards, bowling, and the real feature, our nightly dances. A snappy high-class orchestra furnishes music
that you cannot resist, and our hardwood dance floor has a reputation ‘all its own.’ Our
accommodations are on the detached cottage plan, with meals at the main dining
room, or the fully equipped housekeeping cottages, where you can ‘cook it
yo’self.’ Our well stocked store
provides all foods in season, and we have our own dairy and gardens and our
farm with the different fowls and animals is an added attraction. Untied States post office, barber shop,
phones, electric illumination, confectionery and soft drinks, refrigeration
plant, laundry and garage are some of the conveniences to make it easy for you. Good meals and good beds and a desire to
satisfy you are outstanding features.
Special care is shown to ladies and children visiting alone. Wheelers’ is one place where an especial
appeal is made to the kiddies and our slogan is “For
old and young, health and fun.’
is only six miles by auto from the beautiful Ojai
Valley, in which the unique village of Ojai is located. This valley enjoys the distinction of having
one of the most perfect climates in the world and is the mecca of tourists from
all parts. The famous Ojai Valley Country
Club golf course, which is conceded to be the sportiest in the west, is located
here. A trip to Santa Barbara from Wheelers is an enjoyable
one-distance forty-six miles.
curative and medicinal properties of these waters cannot be overestimated. The hot mineral water being so heavily
charged with sodium chloride, when used for baths, increases the action of the
skin and by absorption acts as a tonic.
Sodium carbonate combined with the other bicarbonate constituents are
used to stimulate the secretion of the digestive tract, neutralize
super-acidity of the stomach, increase the flow of the urine, improve the
appetite, and dissolve uric acid deposits.
The waters cure all disease of the stomach, bowls, kidneys and liver,
all blood diseases, rheumatism, etc.-catarrh, dyspepsia, indigestion,
biliousness, asthmas, weak back, and are exceptionally good for those who have
intoxicants to excess. Even if you are
not ill, the water will do you any amount of good, for it acts very much like a
spring tonic, giving the system a thorough cleansing, thereby making it
unnecessary to use medicine. Massage
treatments of all kinds and also electric treatments are given in connection
with the use of the hot cold mineral waters, both for drinking and bathing and
the combination has proved to give wonderfully beneficial results. The beauty parlor attendants give the regular
course of shampoo, marcelling, facials, etc.
Competent attendants for both ladies and gentlemen.
Cold Springs being situated on the headwaters of the Sespe River,
offers the finest of fishing throughout out the entire season simply form the
fact that it is reached only by trail, consequently not being fished out as is
the case where streams are accessible by autos.
It is just below the junction of Tule Creek and the Sespe River
and also the Sespe gorge, which is noted for its deep, shady pools.
is located in the Santa Barbara
National Forest, and the
management cooperates loyally with the forest service. The trails that lead out in every direction
are patrolled daily by rangers. Your
cooperation in the strict observance of the forest rules will be appreciated.”
centuries this beautiful spot had lain unappreciated except by the chance
traveler, and it was the enterprise of the late Wheeler C. Blumberg that made
it available to the public at large.
That was an important service and his name and work deserve more than
passing notice in this publication. Mr.
Blumberg was born in Clarence, Cedar county, Iowa, November 26, 1863, a son of A. W.
Blumberg, who also became a well known in Californian. Wheeler Blumberg was a lad of ten years when
his parents removed form Iowa to California, locating at
Nordhoff, where he attended school from 1873 to 1877. In the latter year he journeyed with the
family to Santa Paula,
where he became associated with his father in the conduct of general
store. In 1882 they returned to Nordhoff
and began developing the Matilija Hot Springs in the canyon five miles north of
Nordhoff and a shot distance south of Wheelers Hot Springs. In 1888 Wheeler C. Blumberg started out for
himself, locating a claim comprising one hundred and sixty acres tow and a half
miles from Matilija, and thus establishing what his now known as Wheelers Hot
Springs in the canyon of the same name.
He provide such accommodations as the people who came to the region
desired in the way of hotels, fishing and camping paraphernalia, and wisely
laid the foundation for the business which centers in this locality and which
since his death has been successfully carried forward by his son-in-law, Webb
At Yreka, California, on
October 2, 1886, Mr. Blumberg was married to Miss Rose Anna Goodrich and two
sons and a daughter were born to them:
Clarence, now a prominent contractor of Los Angeles; Carl, who also makes his home in
that city; and Mrs. W. W. Wilcox, of Wheelers Hot Springs. Mr. Blumberg was identified with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. A man
of progressive spirit and exemplary habits, he stood deservedly high in public
esteem and his passing on the 21st of May, 1906, was deeply
regretted. Mrs. Blumberg still resides
at Wheelers Hot Springs and is beloved by reason of her many fine qualities.
Wilcox was born in Elizabeth,
Illinois, July 12, 1881, a son of
Samuel and Rosetta Wilcox, and was there reared and educated. At the age of seventeen he was graduated from
high school and for three years thereafter worked in the lead mines near Elizabeth. On coming to California he located at Nordhoff with the
expectation of engaging in ranching.
Instead, he became connected with Matilija Hot Springs but resigned his
position at the end of four months and assumed the duties of assistant manager
of Wheelers Hot Springs. In 1907, after
the death of Wheeler C. Blumberg, Mr. Wilcox took over the entire management of
the property and since its incorporation in January, 1915, has been president
and manager. He combines an intimate
knowledge of the business with the foresight, sound judgment and capacity for
detail of the successful executive and during his administration Wheelers Hot
Springs has gained steadily in prestige and popularity. Under his direction needed improvements have
been made in the buildings and roads in the vicinity of the resort and a paved
highway now leads right to the springs.
Hot Springs on the 27th of April, 1905, Mr. Wilcox was married to
Miss Etta Blumberg, by whom he has a family of three children: Warren N., Dorothy R. and Lester G. The daughter is now the wife of Bruce McDonnell
of Ventura, a
son of Charles McDonnell, who settled here in the pioneer times, and they have
one child, a daughter, Maureen McDonnell.
is a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, and his political allegiance
is given to the Republican Party. He
loyally cooperates in every movement destined to prove of benefit to his
district, county and state and is esteemed for his public spirit, his business
ability and integrity and his genuine personal worth.
By: Michele Y. Larsen on May 31, 2012.
of the South Vol. II,
by John Steven McGroarty, Pages
417-423, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles,
© 2012 Michele
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