Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Only a few remnants remain today of the White Point Hot Spring Hotel resort and spa located at what is now Royal Palms County Beach in San Pedro.
During its heyday in the 1920s, it was one of the most popular beach resorts in Southern California, especially among Japanese-Americans.
Before Tojuro Tagami and his brother Tamiji built the resort in 1917, the area had been part of the Rancho de los Palos Verdes, which owner Jose Sepulveda had used as a cattle ranch.
In 1898, then-owner Ramon Sepulveda built housing and leased land to 12 Japanese-American fishermen from Los Angeles who had discovered an abundance of abalone and other readily harvestable sea life in the area. The fishing village thrived until 1906, when the abalone supply diminished and the operation closed.
The discovery of a sulfur hot spring in the area led to the Tagami brothers developing the bathhouse, together with Ramon Sepulveda. They built roads and dug out the hot spring, and by 1925 the resort included a hotel, restaurant, salt water swimming pools and an enclosed boating are
This July 1925 aerial view shows the outdoor concrete swimming area and an enclosed saltwater pool just north of it at the resort. Photo courtesy LACFD Station 48.