Jon Adams, prior owner of the Byron Hot Springs and currently residing in Hawaii, said the construction and architecture of the buildings is similar to that of the resort’s salt-water-plunge facility cottages built in the 1870s and ’80s. Longtime East County resident Norma Lewis suggested the subject of the image is the Souza and Pimentel home on Camino Diablo Road.
East County historian Kathy Leighton identified the building as the Byron Hotel, which was built in 1885 by Fred Holloway. The hotel stood where the town’s post office is currently located. The hotel property underwent a succession of owners and often accepted overflow guests from the overbooked Byron Hot Springs Hotel.
Leighton believes this photo was taken sometime after 1913, when electricity came to Byron (note the electric utility pole to right of the building) and before 1917, when the Byron Hotel – along with most of the town – burned to the ground.
Readers interested in the history of Byron and other East County communities can learn more in Leighton’s “East Contra Costa County: Footprints in the Sand,” published by the East Contra Costa Historical Society.
– Contributed by Carol Jensen