About Delonegha Hot Springs
Located on river right, Delonegha is hard to miss with its rudimentary structures with corrugated tin and tarped roofing. Immediately downstream of this are what appears to be large concrete pools. The presumed property owners are typically here.
In the book, Kern River Country, the late author Bob Powers does an excellent job covering the history of the springs. The name originally came from a gold prospector who was reminded of his homestate, specifically Dahlonega, Georgia. Later that same year, a different character, William Crawford, homesteaded around the hot springs property and the spelling was changed to Delonegha. By 1891 William had a small cabin here and brought his family which was three kids and his wife. Keep in mind, this is prior to any roads being built in the area – it was remote, not easy to travel to, and located in a deep canyon without much flat land. Now add in four horses, 14 goats, 100 burros and plenty of chickens. A direct quote from Mae, the oldest child is: “The lions would kill them burros left and right.”
Seasonal high water continuously wiped out many of Crawford’s structures, with each event forcing him to borrow money to rebuild. Eventually, he mortgaged the property to his employer, and when the mortgage came due and Crawford was unable to pay, the employer mercilessly kicked the Crawford family out. The property was then sold in 1903 and became a resort with a hotel being built here which saw good business for a few years until the road from Bakersfield to the Kern River Valley was completed – which was on the other side of the river. This effectively wiped out the business as both Democrat Hot Springs (river left) and Miracle Hot Springs (also river left) had resorts that were roadside and therefore much easier to access. The property then changed hands a number of times which brings us to what it is today.