The Jemez Thunder put out a special supplement in August 1995 in recognition of the All American City Award to Jemez Springs.
From Jemez Thunder, December 01, 1997
On April 1, 1999, Pam and Gub Barber, owners of Los Ojos Bar & Grill, published a satirical menu as an April Fool’s joke.
The Clay Hotel, also known as the Esperanza Hotel or Esperanza Ranch, was demolished when Via Coeli was built across from what is now Jemez Historic Site. According to information shared by Amie Adams Green, the hotel was under construction starting in 1921, and hot water came directly from the hot springs. Patricia Bailey provided the following items from the Albuquerque Journal, which have been transcribed for greater legibility.
From the Albuquerque Journal, January 24, 1922
WORK PROGRESSING ON CLAY HOTEL AT JEMEZ
“Construction on the new Clay Hotel in Jemez Springs is progressing rapidly. It is expected that the building will be completed for use by May, according to Linus Shields, of Jemez, who was in the city yesterday. The new hotel will contain fifty guest rooms and will be modern in every respect with water piped firect from a mountain spring. The road between Albuquerque and Jemez is in excelling condition, said Mr. Shields, who made the trip down yesterday in three hours.”
From the Albuquerque Journal, April 16, 1922
“Considering the season and the weather, there has been an unusual influx of visitors during the past two weeks due in a great measure in an improvement in the road, which improvements, although not yet complete, enable the trip to be made in three and a half hours. The worst stretch is within the town of Bernalillo and approaches. The work on the canyon road progresses slowly but steadily and is due to the efforts of a few public-spirited citizens who realize the necessity of encouraging tourists and who are not afraid to give both time and money.
“There has been a decided revival of the boom spirit, but not by boom methods, the revival being not on paper but substantial and visible.
“La Esperanza, better known and probably always will be known as ‘Clay’s hotel,’ due to the personality of Mr. and Mrs. Clay, will be ready for business about May 20, and while the finishing touches are still being made, they take care of week-end parties comfortably, and even if the visitors do have to put up with some minor discomforts, they are always sure of an old-fashioned ‘Clay,’ dinner. Its reputation never fades.
“Located immediately adjoining the old church, built in 1619, now the property of the Archaeological Society, both the Clay hotel and Mrs. J. W. Miller will be prepared to accommodate all visitors, both comfortably and with exceptional cuisine.”
WANTED–A good cook; woman preferred. Also a man who understands the care of the bath house. Address Chas H. Clay, Hotel Clay, Jemez Springs, N.M.
Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church was dedicated to Mariano S. Otero, a nephew of Miguel Otero who died in 1904. The church was built around 1900 by the Otero and Perea families on land donated by the Archuleta family. In 1920, the first of three additions was built on the rear.
The Jemez Mountain Inn, previously the Amber Lodge, appears in the earliest photos of the village. The front structure is one of the oldest buildings in the Village, dating from the late 1800s, and currently is the residence of the inn’s owners. At times in the past century, it served as a store, post office, credit union, restaurant, barber shop and saloon, as well as an inn. The six guest rooms at the back are modern additions.
Jemez Springs Bath House
The best known of the historic structures in Jemez Springs is the Jemez Springs Bath House, which has been remodeled many times since its initial construction in 1881. Like most of the 100+ year-old structures in the village, it is not adobe; it is made of rock covered with stucco.
In the early days, a trip from Albuquerque took too long to go out and return in one day, so people camped or stayed in one of the two hotels. Visitors from that time have written that it looked like a tent city surrounding the bath house. Those here for a cure not only soaked in the tubs but drank the water to relieve their ailments. At one time, a swimming pool was part of the attraction; it has long since been filled in. The gazebo directly north of the bath house is the site of the original spring that served the bath house; it continues that function today. Behind the Bath House along the river, boiling water bubbles up to create a calcified mound, an ongoing demonstration of the hot springs in its natural state.
In the late 1940s, the owners sold the Bath House to the Catholic Church, which in turn sold it to the Village of Jemez Springs in 1961. The structure languished for several decades and then was leased to private operators, who restored the building. In 2003, the Village assumed operation.
On the riverbank of the Jemez Hot Springs spa is a ramshackle building which was the bath house built and operated by Moses Abousleman. It was destroyed by a flood in 1941 and never rebuilt.
At some point, four cabins were moved onto the property and made available for rent, mostly to anglers. In 1996, they were remodeled to be more upscale rentals and named the Giggling Star. In 2004, the property was turned into a spa with soaking pools and gift shop, currently operating as Jemez Hot Springs.
This 2017 report by Thomas Swetnam illustrates the remnants of log chutes in an area just north of Jemez Springs. These log chutes went from the top of Virgin Mesa to a place where they probably tumbled to the valley floor. Click on the following to read the full report. LogChutesArea3_Report.https://www.jemezvalleyhistory.org/?page_id=1471