Aetna Springs Resort

Coordinates: 38°39′13″N 122°28′58″W / 38.65361°N 122.48278°W / 38.65361; -122.48278
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Aetna Springs, California)
Aetna Springs Resort
Main gate of the resort
Aetna Springs Resort is located in California
Aetna Springs Resort
Location1600 Aetna Springs Rd., Pope Valley, California
Coordinates38°39′13″N 122°28′58″W / 38.65361°N 122.48278°W / 38.65361; -122.48278
Area672 acres (272 ha)
ArchitectFarr & Ward
NRHP reference No.87000341[1]
Added to NRHPMarch 9, 1987

The Aetna Springs Resort is a historic resort located in Pope Valley in the north eastern part of Napa County, California, United States. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


It was named after a nearby hot spring. The spring was so named by the owner of the Aetna Mines, John Lawley, when he discovered the spring in the 1880s.[2]


Aetna springs was founded by Chancellor Hartson in 1877. In August 2020, Aetna Springs was evacuated due to the Hennessey Fire, which resulted in the burning of over 315,000 acres (127,476 ha) in five counties, including in Aetna Springs.[3]

The resort and spa were originally developed by San Francisco advertising executive Len D. Owens who began development of the resort in 1891 after he purchased the property for $35,000 in the 1870s and quickly became a popular summertime destination for vacationers from San Francisco and Hollywood.[4] Owens was Frances Marion's father. One of the first golf courses west of the Mississippi River was built on the resort's property in 1891. George Heibel, bought the resort from Owens in 1945. In 1966 Ronald Reagan announced his intention to run for the office of Governor of California in the dining hall at the resort.[5] Heibel sold the resort to Environmental Systems in 1972. The resort again sold in 1976 to New Educational Development Systems, a nonprofit corporation associated with the Unification Church.[6]

On June 9, 2009 it was announced that the Aetna Springs Resort would close.[7] Snell Valley lies to the north of Aetna Springs. In early 2012 the Napa County Planning Commission approved plans to renovate existing 28 structures and build a new lodge on the property.[8] The resort property was sold to Alchemy Resorts in 2018.[9] In 2023, it was announced that the resort will be restored as Six Senses Napa Valley, with a reopening set for 2026.[10]

In literature[edit]

Aetna Springs is the locale of Frances Marion's Valley People, a book of short stories published in 1935.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gudde, Erwin; William Bright (2004). California Place Names (Fourth ed.). University of California Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-520-24217-3.
  2. ^ "Hennessey Fire Information". CAL FIRE. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  3. ^ Jensen, Peter (February 6, 2012). "A grand 19th-century resort to be reborn in Pope Valley". Napa Valley Register. Napa, California. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  4. ^ Jensen, Peter (April 19, 2014). "Aetna Springs Resort developers seek financing for revival". Napa Valley Register. Napa, CA: Lee Enterprises, Inc. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  5. ^ Eberling, Barry (January 21, 2023). "Napa's famed Aetna Springs still awaits rebirth". Napa Valley Register. Napa, California. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  6. ^ Jones, Jillian (2009-06-10). "Aetna Springs to close". Napa Valley Register. Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  7. ^ Jensen, Peter (January 20, 2012). "Planners approve Aetna Springs project". Napa Valley Register. Napa, CA: Lee Enterprises, Inc. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  8. ^ Eberling, Barry (December 20, 2018). "Napa County's famed Aetna Springs has new owner with resort plans". Napa Valley Register. Napa, CA: Lee Enterprises, Inc. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  9. ^ "Six Senses Napa Valley to open in 100-year-old Californian ghost resort". 25 January 2023.
  10. ^ Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood, Cari Beauchamp, University of California Press, 1997.