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"Lie in that mud for a few weeks, and you'll be a new man."

Amidst the endless stories of mining and railroads that surround modern man's involvement in the Tecopa area, is one very different, inspiring, and true story of a man who, at a time of great pain, discovered the Tecopa hot springs and mud/clay baths:
The story of Elias.

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hot springs
"I've learned that a man can take what he has, no matter how little, and make from it what he wants. Death Valley brought life to me -- and I brought life to Death Valley!"

These are the words of 70-year-old Elias, founder of the resort that today is known as Delight's Hot Spring Resort, a man who a few short years before arriving in the middle of the barren desert to die. Elias was an arthritic cripple, who in a time of desperation, took the advice of a friend who suggested that Elias leave Los Angeles and spend a few weeks in the warm spring mud baths in the far reaches of the Mojave Desert.

"Lie in that mud for a few weeks, and you'll be a new man." His friend's prediction came true. After spending nearly a month bathing in the warm, natural mud baths and drinking the natural hot springs Mineral Water, Elias was well enough to begin the exploration of the surrounding desert and discovered an area that contained hundreds of warm springs. Elias knew that he had found the perfect spot for a health spa.

Eventually, when Elias attempted to lease or purchase this land, he discovered it was not for sale. Not purchasable, that is, with normal currency. Congress, he discovered, set aside the land for Veteran homesteading. The law provided that the land could only be purchased with the Civil War script. The federal government issued a Civil War script to discharged soldiers after the U.S. Civil war. Nearly all such currency had long been lost or hidden away in museums.

Elias, however, remembered that his grandfather was a civil war veteran and recalled seeing odd-looking coupons framed in his parents' home. He returned to Nebraska and found $2,000.00 worth of Civil War Script currency which was the exact amount required to purchase it.

He and his wife Betty raised a small amount of capital and set out to build a town with 2 1/2 miles of railroad trackage and ties from the abandoned Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad. Transformed from a penniless cripple to a vibrant and productive man, Elias successfully built a small desert empire.

- Original History derived from Nelson Thorne's account, 1955.

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amazing experience


If you are tired of making money
It doesn't seem worth the game
Come to Tecopa Hot Springs
Elias's is the name
Cabins as neat as a pin
You're at home when you step in
There you get courtesy plus
Without bother, without fuss
The hot pool is a delight
Swim by Day Swim by Night

Here vacation can be grand
Sun-bathing in desert sand
Don't drive out some night late
Here you have to have a date
If at Elias's you spend a week
You will find the rest you seek
And if this sounds a bit like Heaven
Just call TECOPA Number 7

-------> ...at the Red Dutch Mill
- Ruth C. Mason - Elias's 'Tecopa No. 7 Ad', May 1955

-John Johnson