A LOOK BACKNov 06, 2016 09:20AM ● By Pam Kessler
After two decades of ranching and farming, commerce came to the Ygnacio Valley in 1874 when Dr. Rowan built a hotel and spa on Ygnacio Valley Road called Bareges Sulphur Springs named after a resort in France. It offered patrons treatments and cures for gout and rheumatism. Dr. Rowan charged $12 per week for room and board and use of the baths. Fire destroyed the hotel and baths in late 1875, and although the baths were rebuilt, the hotel was not. Today the subterranean spring remains below ground at the entrance to St. John Vianny Catholic Church. Passerbys often smell its pungent aroma.
The need for new hotel in Walnut Creek drew William Rogers to the village where the former police officer opened the Rogers Hotel in 1879 on the northeast corner of Main and Duncan Streets (known today as Mechanics Bank) Equipped with a dining room, bar and sleeping rooms upstairs, the hotel became a stage-line stop for travelers on their way to Concord, Danville and Lafayette. But business was also brisk from San Francisco and Oakland, so Rogers converted the dance hall into additional boarding rooms. The hotel’s success sparked other new businesses to open in Walnut Creek. SOURCE: Walnut Creek, An Illustrated History by Brad Rovanpera and the Walnut Creek Historical Society.