In 1944, Curtis Howe Springer settled on three by eight miles
by Soda Dry Lake in the middle of the Mojave Desert. There he
built a spa with nine mineral pools in the shape of a cross, and
he wanted to give it name with no vowels that sounded like sleep,
and so "Zzyzx" (pronounced Zee-zix) was born.
The self-proclaimed Methodist minister and physician (he was
neither) broadcasted daily a folksy, fundamentalist religious
program from the radio station he built there asking listeners to
send donations for miraculous cures, which were a mix of
vegetable juices, shipped throughout the United States and
The spa flourished with the elderly spending their life
savings to spend time in the sparse rooms and to relax in the
mineral waters until 1974, when Springer was arrested for alleged
violations of food and drug laws and unauthorized use of federal
land. The spa was confiscated, Springer spent a few months in
jail, and now the spa is administered by the California State
University at Fullerton as the Desert
Looking north at the pond at Zzyzx.
Notice the fountain head in the middle. The pond is on the other
side of the Administration Building.
More images of Zzyzx