Part of our Alum Rock series.
By 1894, livery stables, a restaurant, a superintendent’s cottage, two bath houses and an engine house had been installed. The open-air “plunge,” a large concrete swimming pool, joined an aviary and the mineral water pagoda to draw outsiders and local folks to this spa and resort. A natatorium (indoor swimming pool), penny arcade and merry-go-round were added. A zoo which housed 77 animals including a lion family (which were fed dog food), monkeys, bears and deer was created, but the haphazard care of the animals caused it to be closed down.
The park’s popularity almost did it in. So many people and so many cars nearly crushed the life out of the once lush canyon; the native wildlife and vegetation were near extinction. The attractions seemed shabby and old-fashioned in the new era of television. The park wound down, giving up its ragged treasures one by one until it reached a better equilibrium with nature.
Today’s park focuses on the natural beauty of the terrain and its unique geological formations. Walkers, joggers, bicyclists and picnickers commune with the creek, the trails and the comforting calm of the Youth Science Institute’s nature center. The only physical reminders of the park’s rapturous youth are in the white-columned pagoda near YSI, the train trestles and the old log cabin.
At the posted coordinates you will find the first historical park marker where you can begin to find answers to the questions below. The other two plaques used are nearby and no coordinate changes are needed for those, they are easy to find. Really.
1. What year was the log cabin completed? Add the last two digits together for A.
2. What year was it dedicated? 19BC.
Now with your back to the cabin, turn right and walk up the path to find a large oak (?) tree with a plaque in front of it. It's on the right side of the path.
3. The title at the top of this plaque is “The ?” How many letters in that word? The last digit is D.
4. How much did it cost park visitors to swim in the heated pool? First digit is E.
5. The building contained how many mineral baths? First digit is F.
Ok, the last plaque you can find a few feet away up the path in front of the Visitor Center.
6. The first recorded use of the name Alum Rock was in 189G.
7. Alum Rock Park was aquired in many stages. The first land grant by Govenor Filipe De Neve was on July, ??, 1778. Add those two numbers of that day together for H.
The cache is a small Tupperware container with a log book and pen and can hold smaller items. No bushwhacking needed.