185 real photo postcards dating from the 1910s-1950s, showing various images of Oregon’s Breitenbush Hot Springs and Spa. Most unposted, and some with message and postmark and/or writing on the reverse. Generally very good condition. May include a few duplicates. Some of the earliest cards in the archive are 20 rare images from prominent Oregon photographer William L. Jones. Jones emigrated from Wales to Silverton, Oregon, where he began work as a “traveling” photographer. In 1913 he relocated to Southwestern Washington where he opened a studio in Hoquiam. Other significant early photographers included in the collection are Clarence Christian, Chester M. Coffey and the Perkins and Klasic Studios. During the nineteenth century, middle class Americans became captivated by the idea that bathing in water with the right combination of minerals could promote heath and even cure disease. By the 1930s, the U.S. had more than 2,000 hot- and cold-springs resorts – most of which were in wooded or rural settings that promised a pleasurable recreational experience in addition to a cure. In Oregon, “ancient geothermal springs, rich with minerals and temperatures ranging from 68 to 198 degrees Fahrenheit, bubble up from pools near the edge of the Breitenbush River, a tributary of the North Santiam….Over the decades, a succession of owners promoted the health benefits of the thermal waters at Breitenbush Hot Springs. In 1862, John Hollingsworth guided people to a camp at the springs by mule train. Fifteen years later, Claude and Hattie Mansfield homesteaded a quarter section of the upper Breitenbush River, which included most of the springs. When their son Lorenzo contracted polio, he spent much of his childhood soaking in a mineral pool that his father built for him in hopes it would cure him” (Oregon Encyclopedia). Hattie and Fred Bruckman purchased the upper springs from Mansfield in 1904 and remained there into the 1950s. Their son built and managed the Breitenbush Lodge beginning in 1927. The resort included a post office, gas station, and dance pavilion, and attracted visitors from far away to enjoy the springs and the surroundings. The images in this collection offer extensive and varied views of the resort – showing the mineral springs, waterfalls, roads and trails; camp facilities, including the lodge (interior and exterior), general store, tents, cabins, post office and old bath houses; visitors engaging in camp activities – enjoying the mineral springs, on trail rides, fishing, swimming, posed in front of cabins and other facilities; and the Breitenbush River, creeks and the bridges crossing them. In addition to the real photo postcards, the collection includes a few printed postcards and vintage brochures—one of which asserts that “diseases of the stomach, skin, kidneys and respiratory system, dyspepsia, nicotine habit, and blood diseases have all responded to the remarkable curative powers of these waters. After the 1950s the lodge was abandoned. In 1977 it was purchased, restored and used by a community of year-round residents focused on preserving the natural landscape. The community eventually opened to paying guests and the Breitenbush Hot Springs Resort and Conference Center was born. Sadly, the Oregon fires in 2020 destroyed many of the buildings at Breitenbush, including all the guest cabins, a footbridge and one well house. The lodge, however, was saved.