I have a little history with Hot Lake Springs, located just outside of La Grande, Oregon. I attended college in La Grande and “hot lakes” was a dilapidated building, closed to the public. And by that, I mean it was haunted. I used to hear stories of people trespassing and exploring the building, but I was too chicken and never went inside. The building has quite a history. It has been used as a Sanatorium, a hotel, a flight school, a nursing home, and an asylum!
During my time as a photojournalist, the hotel was featured on the television show, “Scariest Places on Earth” and I got to take photos for the newspaper feature, which was on the front page. Since then, the building has been renovated into a beautiful bed and breakfast. There are two lakes in front of the hotel. One is extremely hot, at about 200 degrees, but has beautiful plants growing in and near it. The other is a normal temperature and is the home of many fish and pond critters.
Fast forward to this past fall when I did a vintage inspired wedding shoot with Levi and River. The gorgeous dress River is wearing is actually my Mother-in-law’s dress, from her wedding in the 1960s. We had a lot of fun doing this shoot on a gorgeous October morning. The grounds are gorgeous and so interesting, as is the building (yes, I finally got to inside!). There is actually an old chapel on the grounds, but we were not able to use it that day. They do not currently hold weddings at Hot Lake Springs, but they are available for wedding receptions and other events. The staff was so accommodating and nice and I absolutely plan on staying there at some point in my life!