Glass Fire

Glass Fire Nearly Destroys White Sulphur Springs, California's Oldest Resort

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Glass Fire has nearly destroyed another piece of California history -- the state’s oldest resort. 

The fire ravaged most of White Sulphur Springs in St. Helena, which opened the same year that Wells Fargo was founded. 

The owners say even though the fire destroyed 17 of the resort’s 20 buildings, they will rebuild. 

Way before Tesla cars, horse-drawn carriages used to be the means of transportation for San Francisco's elite and the White Sulphur Springs Resort, founded in 1852, was where they went for a break from the city life. 

The resort now belongs to the Hoffman Institute, a non-profit that used this property to host retreats.  

“Back in the day, it was the place in the Napa Valley to go to,” said Raz Ingrasci from the Hoffman Institute.

This is a rendering of the hotel, published in a newspaper article from 1872 that praised the resort for its beautiful scenery. 

“You’re driving back in time, it's virtually the same as it was 150 years ago,” said Ingrasci.

The resort has gone through a lot in the last 150 years like different owners and disastrous floods.  

“God is trying to tell somebody something because we had a flash food that came here, and it wiped out a lot of the buildings,” said Jim Scott from St. Helena.

But nothing quite compares to the glass fire that swept through the resort on Sunday and chewed up 17 of its 20 buildings. The Inn and the carriage house are still left standing, but a part of the creek that runs by the property is now a trickle of water. 

“You wouldn’t know it now but this is a beautiful refreshing spot to be,” said Scott. 

If mother nature can rise from the ashes, the Hoffman Institute says it too can reconstruct this part of California History. 

“We intend to rebuild and to continue the tradition,” said Ingrasci.

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