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Saratoga, New York became famous for its hots springs. When I was growing up in upstate New York, I took many trips there. First, to the park with my family to see the hot springs. Then later to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) where I spent many summers on the lawn outside the arts center listening to rock groups. I love Saratoga!

Sam Brannan also loved Saratoga. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia.) So when he came to the upper Napa Valley area in the 1950's, he was pleased to find hot springs. He wanted to make this area the Saratoga of California. He built resort cottages, each with a palm in front of them. The resort was centered where the current Indian Spring Resort is today.

The town of Calistoga was incorporated in 1886. Legend has it that Mr. Brannan chose the name Calistoga as a mash up of California and Saratoga. He could just as easily named it Sarafonia!

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