The 1960s and '70s
International Bazaar and Renovation
EThe Mission grounds were first sold in 1956 to
an East Bay consortium known as the Byron Hot
Springs Corporation. The loan defaulted and the
property returned to the Church. In 1959 J. Branch
Donelson acquired the property under a first trust
deed but again the property returned to the
grantor. In 1965, the property was sold once again
to a consortium of five people known under the
name of "Byron Resorts."
There have been many owners since then. The most promising was purchase of the property by Jon and Dixie Adam in 1972. Jon Adams made his reputation as the real estate sales manager for Tahoe North Star Resort at Lake Tahoe, CA. He relocated to the Byron area and is credited with creating the residential home development now known as "Discovery Bay." Development rights to Discovery Bay were sold and Jon used his proceeds to acquire the Byron Hot Springs. Jon and his wife, Dixie, sought to improve the property, renovate the structures, restore the resort, and dredge a large lake. Perhaps its greatest notoriety came during the summer of 1972 as the site of the "Great 1890’s International Bazaar" in 1972. The "Bazaar" was created by the "Harbingers" best know for their creation of the Renaissance Faire first staged on Mt. Tamalpias in 1969.
Opportunity for an extensive restoration of the property and return to a new glory can in 1978 in the person of Mansour Hakimi. The financial resources and desire to restore the historic resort were within Hakimi’s grasp. Regrettably, the Shah’s regime fell in Iran shortly after Hakimi’s purchase of the Springs, his assets were frozen and lost. In a few short years another sale was required and another buyer found. Developer Ray Lehmkuhl Co, Walnut Creek, acquired the property and development dreams. Circumstances and illness plagued the project and the property went to a trustee sale once more.
Back to Life
Since 1987, the historic resort and grounds are effectively land banked as the Byron Airport and regional plan are developed. The grounds lay unused and unoccupied except by groundskeepers. The sands from the alkali flat are being excavated and commercially sold as construction grade sand for grading and commercial improvements in the area. Ambitious plans to return the Byron Hot Springs to new glory have recently materialized. A new group headed by Dave Fowler of the East Bay Syndicate are dedicated to returning Byron Hot Springs to a grand resort on par with any other in the western United States.
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