Today one of my favorite places on earth is celebrating 150 years since its founding - Happy Birthday to the town of Benton Hot Springs!
|from the Old House and Inn at Benton Hot Springs B&B brochure|
This oasis in the dessert was founded as a mining town and at one time boasted over 2000 inhabitants. But times changed, the mines played out, and the town shrank to about 200 as it became a stopover point for locals and travelers. Then transportation and travel habits changed and further decline followed.
But unlike most desert mining towns that disappear completely, Benton had a local family that valued and protected its history. Today, Bill and Diane run The Old House and Inn at Benton Hot Springs and care for the remains of the town.
This is an incredible place to escape the intrusive sounds and visual noise of city and suburban life. Yes, it is remote - but that's part of what makes this place so special and allows me to recharge my creative batteries. It is also my "home base" to explore the area's beautiful desert landscapes and artifacts of abandoned history. Indeed, many of the pictures in The Lonely Places were taken within 100 miles of Benton.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Benton Hot Springs and congratulations Bill and Diane! Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and hard work keeping a piece of our Western heritage alive!