The Montana Cabin is a modest Italianate-Victorian style structure inclusive of the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, whose place in history has touched several generations spanning from the late 1800s, the roaring 1920s, and even World War II. The compound was developed in the 1870s and garnered swift acclaim as a popular bathhouse and clubhouse to the wealthy, ultimately becoming a social hot spot throughout the roaring 1920s by way of bootleg liquor parties complete with slot machines and low inhibitions.
In 1938, Kyuzaburo Sakata, a successful Japanese lettuce grower from the nearby Watsonville, purchased the compound with the intention of curating a cultural resource and gathering space for Japanese Americans. Unfortunately, his story is one marred with successes and setbacks. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Sakata would be one of the many Japanese Americans sent to the Internment Camps established by the U.S. Government. Following his release, Sakata would venture home, but was never able to restore the compound to its intended glory.
Ultimately, the Yamato Hot Springs would be purchased in 2003 by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and later being absolved into Henry W. Coe State Park. The Yamato Hot Springs is officially recognized as a California Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To learn more please visit California Historic Landmarks’ website.
HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers and applying the traditional skills necessary to restore the Montana Cabin:
Please note: Tasks vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors including: weather, project priorities, previous groups’ work, and more. Though it is likely you will get to learn and practice most or all of the above tasks, it is not guaranteed. The higher percentage of the scope a particular task is, the more likely you will get to practice it.