GYHS Update!
In February, 2013 Friends of Gilroy Hot Springs officially changed its name to Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs. In September 2012 the Pine Ridge Association voted to once again welcome this organization under its fold as a subgroup. The Pine Ridge Association (PRA) is the all-volunteer qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit official organization for Henre W. Coe State Park. Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs is part of Henry W. Coe State Park since 2003.
Matt Bischoff, Historian III, and Joan Carpenter, Civil Engineer, both with the California State Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Monterey District are passionate about Gilroy Hot Yamato Springs. They belive that GYHS is unique among historic sites and other parks because of the warm mineral water and the cultural diversity associated with that water. Because of this belief, they made sure that Eddie Guaracha, then Gavilan Sector Superintendent overseeing GYHS (2007-2013) stayed aware of the need to protect and preserve the site, with possibilities of restoring public access to this otherwise closed area of Henry W. Coe State Park. They continue to work with Acting Sector Superintendent Stuart Organo, who is also supportive of the work that has been accomplished.
     Matt Bischoff,          Joan Carpenter,    Eddie Guaracha

It was serendipitous for Matt to meet Laura Dominguez-Yon in October 2007. GYHS was Laura's first home — her family lived there from 1945-55. Two of Laura's uncles managed the resort from 1945 through the 1960s when it closed to the public, staying longer to consult for the subsequent owners until it was acquired by the DPR in 2003.
Laura Dominguez-Yon,   Captain Masuo Kitaji,         Henry Kato     

Shortly after Matt and Laura met, Laura “found” Russ Mabery via a soakers' blog — people who love soaking in natural mineral springs around the world. Russ's mother, grandfather, and great grandfather each owned and ran Gilroy Hot Springs, from 1865 through 1938. Matt introduced Laura and Russ to Eddie Guaracha, Gavilan Sector Superintendent, and together they formed the organization to protect, preserve, and restore Gilroy Hot Springs. In the tradition of park volunteer groups, Friends of Gilroy Hot Springs was formed.
      Russ Mabery        Florence Roop     George B. Roop     George W. Roop      

The first years as Friends of Gilroy Hot Springs consisted of discovery:
  • What exists of the property, the structures, the records, the history?
  • What do people want of GYHS — what is their vision for its future?
  • What would the DPR allow at GYHS?
  • Who in the community was also interested in GYHS?
Partnerships with the Gilroy Historical Society and the Pine Ridge Association were established, with the encouragement and support of Connie Rogers, Ron Erskine, Dan McCranie, and the late Frank Shiavo.
Connie Rogers       Ron Erskine         Dan McCranie           Frank Schiavo            

Frank Shiavo, former SJSU professor and “green energy pioneer”, suggested a 4 tiered plan for public access:
  • Day visitors: walk-in visits from the Coyote Creek bridge to the Barn and Camp Host site, after Camp host and barn area restored.
  • Guided tours: beyond the Camp host area, through the historic preservation area, as we now offer.
  • Special events: supervised visits for groups or other events, as we now offer for school tours and the annual “Walk Through History” and “Travel Through History”, and our newest, “Waters Through Time” public events.
  • Community Reciprosity: tours and events for park volunteers and groups who contribute to our activities.
Frank also suggested restoring 10 cabins, a small meeting room, a modest spa center, and maybe a small, 25 seat restaurant to create a conservative retreat center. In addition to expanding public access, it would generate revenue to help assure its maintenance and possibly that of Coe Park as a whole.

Among others who have been interested, supportive, and instrumental in preserving GYHS include Bob Patrie, Dave Hildebrand, Bonnie Stromberg, and Teddy Goodrich, all of whom have contributed images to our archives and use.
Bob Patrie       Dave Hildebrand         Bonnie Stromberg           Teddy Goodrich            

In 2011-2012, with the best of intentions, we partnered with the California Foundation for Architectural Preservation (CalFAP), with the understanding that we share the same ideals and that CalFAP would acquire a working contract with the DPR (Calif. Department of Parks and Recreation). We learned a lot about historic preservation, and even more about the architectural history reflected in the structures on our site. Thank you, Tim Lantz and CalFAP for contributing your expertise and resources.

Unfortunately, after more than 12 months without achieving the contract with the DPR, we were faced with the probability of paying user fees to continue our volunteer work. Fortunately, we were able to return to experienced and protective umbrella of the Pine Ridge Association again, as a sub-group, and with a closer relationship to the DPR District and Sector administration. PRA provides the non-profit status and benefits, while DPR District and Sector provides authority, guidance, and resources for us to continue on our mission: to protect, preserve, and restore public access to Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs.

More than a volunteers working at the park, we acknowledge that GYHS has the potential to draw many more and different visitors to Henry W Coe Park — those who are less experienced with the great outdoors, or who may not be able to hike through trails or creeks. And we attract many mineral water enthusiasts, artists, hobbiests, history buffs.
Gael Troughton and Tim Lantz
Gael Troughton, a minature model train enthusiast, inquired about the GYHS hotel. After more than a year of careful study of its architectural details through photos and drawings, Gael was able to convince an expert model builder to work on a GYHS Hotel kit. We're so excited! Imagine owning an HO scale model of the GYHS hotel! Meanwhile he has the Penny Scale, the Kiosk , and the The Stanley Mountain Wagon GHS Stage already available, with the Mineral Well gazebo (with optional cistern) and NEBRASKA cabin kits will be ready very soon. To order, go to: