The site first had historical significance since its geothermal spring water was used for medicinal and healing purposes. This traditional use stretches back hundreds of years. With the settlement of the Owens Valley in the late 1800s and with the land ethic of private ownership the springs passed into the hands of those who used the surrounding land for agriculture and ranching. (Longyear and 4-C Ranches). In 1919 the property was purchased by Phillip Keough, an Eastern Sierra pioneer. A leader in civic affairs and owner of the City Market in Bishop, Keough had a vision for a first class health resort.
During its heyday in the 1920 and 30s it was just that, a complete health and leisure resort, where visitors could not only soak their aches and cares away, but also fish, dine, dance and stay in a cabin. Keough's Hot Springs became the chief social institution for the people of the Owens Valley.
Hundreds of valley residents flocked to celebrate important holidays at Keough's.Many recall the barbecues, dancing and fireworks that characterized the 4th of July and the Easter Egg hunts that were held on the grounds each spring.
Local children learned to swim at the end of the school year parties held at Keough's from 1933 to 1937, when Civilian Conservation Corps camps were located near by, a big night out for the lads was traveling to Keough's to dance or for a ball game. Boxing matches were also held at Keough's and movie stars from Hollywood would vacation at Keough's.
Later, Richard and Liz Denniss, took over the lease and have run it as a private health spa. Liz Denniss had come from a 30 year career in Hollywood and Dick Denniss had a background in mining and millwork, that was essential to the job of renovating the swimming pool and other buildings.
In September of 1998, the Brown family of Bishop purchased the site. While open to the public, the updating and renovations are always on going. Keough's Hot Springs will become a premiere recreational destination in the Eastern Sierra.