October 22, 2008


Now, I know this sounds like the latest extreme sport, but in reality, the Sacramento Baths was a destination for Sacramentans back in 1909. The community purchased stocks which ultimately paid for the construction of this amazing structure.  It lasted almost 50 years and was renamed the Land Park Plunge or Riverside Plunge.  When it was constructed, it was the only swimming bath within 50 miles of Sacramento.  The owners stated that it ws located on Sacramento’s only artesian well, going over 2500 feet deep.

 In an article in the Sacramento Union, the water was “highly mineralized carrying 600% less bacterioa than approved drinking water”. The natural temperatures of the water was 82 degrees. The pool was advertised as being emptied and cleaned each night.

The Riverside Baths were originally enclosed by a two story wooden structure, but due to a high level of deterioration, the structure was razed and in 1936, was part of a $20,000 improvement project.  The project was completed in 1937 and was touted as the most modern swimming resort in California.  It was no longer enclosed, but surrounded by an 8′ high concrete wall and 2 stucco buildings.  It also included a refreshment stand, a sunbathing deck and outdoor buffet from which waiters brought refreshments to umbrella shaded tables.

The baths were located at the end of the streetcar line on Riverside Boulevard between 11th and 12th Avenues.  B’nai Temple now stands where these wonderful baths once stood.

The photos are from the Sacramento Union , dated 9/25/08, excerpts taken from an article written by Lance Armstrong, a Sacramento Union writer


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