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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


George Fetters

Sonoma county is not only noted for its beauty of landscape, but also for its salubrious climate and its wonderful resources. These qualities make it an attraction to the tourist, as well as a health resort for the convalescent. To this latter class of people the hot springs are a constant attraction, and perhaps no hot springs in Sonoma county are more popular or better known than Fetters’ Hot Springs, of which Mr. and Mrs. George Fetters are proprietors. Mr. Fetters was born in Pittsburg, Pa., March 24, 1879, the son of George H. and Maria (Strobel) Fetters, both natives of Pittsburg, Pa., where the father was a well-known contractor, and in which city he died. The paternal grandfather of George Fetters was Jacob Fetters, of Pittsburg, who served in the Civil war. His maternal grandfather, Frederick Strobel, also served in the Civil war. Mr. Fetters is the third oldest of a family of nine children, and was brought up in Pittsburg, in which place he graduated from the Holy Ghost college. Immediately after his graduation he engaged in the hotel business, remaining in his native city until 1891. In that year he came to San Francisco, Cal., and engaged in the hotel business until the great fire of 1906 burned him out.

In 1907 Mr. and Mrs. Fetters came to Sonoma county and in Sonoma valley they purchased the old Halstead ranch of one hundred acres, situated two and one-half miles from Sonoma. Here they intended to engage in ranching, but on account of the other mineral springs on adjoining ranches, Mr. Fetters began to prospect for hot mineral water. He learned that an old Indian spring was located on the north end of his land, which spring the Indians in olden days had used medicinally and for baths. He sunk a well in this locality about one hundred feet from the original spring and fortunately struck flowing hot water. Three more wells were immediately sunk and later an electric pumping plant was erected, on the completion of which, Mr. Fetters began making improvements. A hotel building was erected costing $15,000, and an adjoining bath house which cost $10,000, having in it a concrete swimming plunge, 60x100 feet. In this bath house there are twenty-four private bath tubs, also a number of private concrete plunges on the same order as the famous Carlsbad baths. Mr. Fetters found it necessary to build a twenty-four room annex to the hotel, the structure costing $10,000. On the place the proprietor has build a large residence for private use. The Fetters’ Hot Springs is one of the most modern and up-to-date baths in the state, situated on both lines of railroad at Agua Caliente, just forty-five minutes from San Francisco. The ranch is well improved with fruits of all kinds, including cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, apples and grapes.

Mr. Fetters was married in San Jose, Cal., to Miss Esther Koenigsberg, who was born in Vienna, Austria, of German parents and came from there direct to San Francisco. Mrs. Fetters is associated with her husband in the ownership and management of the property and deserves no small share of the credit for the success of the undertaking. Mr. Fetters is a member of the California Hotel Men’s Association. A man of resourcefulness and independence, the success that he has achieved comes as the result of wisdom and foresight, as well as hard work. The waters of the springs range in temperature from 108 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit and are very effective in disorders of the stomach, liver and kidneys and have accomplished some remarkable cures where medicine has failed. The proprietors are planning to put in mud baths in the near future, thus making their enterprise more attractive.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011