An abandoned 19th-century Napa Valley resort on 857 acres is now on sale for $50 million

Napa Soda SpringsJLL

A Bay Area tech billionaire looking for a project with some history would be smart to look at the Napa Soda Springs Resort, which just went on the market for the first time in 40 years.

Home to 27 mineral water springs, the property was once the site of a legendary resort. Historically, natural springs were seen as potential cure-alls, and resort towns popped up on spring sites around the country. By the 1930s, there were over 2,000 spring resorts in the US.

At the same time, the owners of the resort also had a factory where they bottled and sold Napa Soda, and they won the exclusive rights to use the Napa name in court. In 1897, San Francisco saloons reportedly ran out of Napa Soda, necessitating overnight shifts at the factory to restock. The drink was a 19th century Bay Area food trend, an early precursor to kombucha and Soylent trends of today.

Here's some history about the resort, and photos of what remains on the site after over a century.

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In 1856, a lawyer from San Francisco opened the resort. Over the next decade, he added amenities like tennis, billiards, horseback riding, and citrus groves for visitors. The rest of the century saw a pool, music hall, and pagoda added as well.

In 1856, a lawyer from San Francisco opened the resort. Over the next decade, he added amenities like tennis, billiards, horseback riding, and citrus groves for visitors. The rest of the century saw a pool, music hall, and pagoda added as well.

As spring resorts went out of vogue, the hotel shut down after World War I. Two later fires destroyed much of what was left of the property.

As spring resorts went out of vogue, the hotel shut down after World War I. Two later fires destroyed much of what was left of the property.

The resort was a place for wealthy 19th-century vacationers to soak in healing springs and breath mountain air.

The resort was a place for wealthy 19th-century vacationers to soak in healing springs and breath mountain air.

The resort has never been renovated, and the remaining shells of the stone buildings are all that's left of what was once a popular vacation destination. They could be restored by a wealthy buyer willing to pick up the $50 million tab.

The resort has never been renovated, and the remaining shells of the stone buildings are all that's left of what was once a popular vacation destination. They could be restored by a wealthy buyer willing to pick up the $50 million tab.

The 75-foot-tall Rotunda, introduced with a formal ball in 1877, was once a highlight of the property. Only the shell has survived multiple fires.

The 75-foot-tall Rotunda, introduced with a formal ball in 1877, was once a highlight of the property. Only the shell has survived multiple fires.

Because it has never been renovated, the remaining structures have an eerie quality.

Because it has never been renovated, the remaining structures have an eerie quality.

The sale will be one of the largest Bay Area land deals, with 857 acres, several springs, and an 80-foot waterfall.

The sale will be one of the largest Bay Area land deals, with 857 acres, several springs, and an 80-foot waterfall.

Despite the large size and remote feel, the property is only about 15 minutes from downtown Napa, and close to several wineries.

Despite the large size and remote feel, the property is only about 15 minutes from downtown Napa, and close to several wineries.

The property is listed with Gerry Rohm of JLL Capital Markets.

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