September 5, 2001: Alan Bofenkamp, first vice president of the Santa Clarita Valley
Historical Society, points out the possible foundation of the Lang Hotel, an inn and health
spa with sulfurous springs (thus the local name, Sulphur Springs) built by homesteader and
entrepreneur John Lang in 1871. The area became known as "Lang," and a train
station bearing the name was erected adjacent to the hotel in 1876 when the Southern Pacific
Railroad came through the area.
Lang's hotel burned down in the first decade of the 20th Century and a warehouse was built
atop it; the warehouse also did not last.
The photograph was shot on the same side of the Santa Clara River as the SPRR Lang Depot (the south side), just
a couple of hundred yards to the west of it. Bofenkamp said a corner of the hotel was located where he is kneeling.
Perkins writes (1961):
John Lang was ... a pioneer by instinct. Coming to California in 1854, he had made the first cheese vats in the State. He was in the Nevada Comstock Rush, but his wife's health forced a move to Los Angeles where he developed 35 acres in fruits and vegetables profitably.
In 1870, Lang bought 160 acres from the railroad company in the Soledad canyon (at "Lang") and later increased his holdings to some 1,200 acres, which included some 10 stink pots known locally as the Sulphur Springs. They smelled so repulsive that they had quite a local reputation as a sure cure for rheumatism and what have you. (Incidentally, those springs are, or were, at the upper end of "Rivers End," which attractive resort is on the old Lang ranch. They mudded up in the flood of 1938 and were never cleaned out. Fish, now cavorting in the Rivers End ponds, do not like sulphur water and are joined in their views by the local ducks.)
Lang planted an extensive orchard. It included lemons as well as the deciduous fruits, and there were also berries and vegetables. He built a hotel, about 36x36, two-storied, and soon had quite a county reputation as a resort offering exceptionally good hunting — if you liked grizzlies — while Lang's hotel and dining room was an anachronism in that canyon setting, catering adequately to those despondent enough to drink, or bathe, in the stinking sulphur waters.